5 tips to make online payments hack-proof

By Vidit Baxi

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Online shopping is rapidly becoming popular in India, and this is inadvertently pushing brick and mortar stores to take the backseat. With online discounts doling out lucrative offers along with "mobile app' sale days, even the most reluctant shoppers are resorting to the online forum.

As consumers we enjoy the spree of online discounts but we fail to notice that a lot of hackers are on the lookout for information trail that we leave behind! And, the nefarious things they can do with sensitive information can ruin more than just your shopping experience!

So should we not shop online? Though such extreme measures are definitely not called for, a little attention to security would go a long way in ensuring your safety while shopping on any e-commerce platform.

As an expert in the field of cyber security, here are the top 5 tried and tested tips that Lucideus director Vidit Baxi has to share for your secure online transactions:

1. Check for the PCI DSS compliant logo: While paying for your online purchases, make sure you check for the PCI DSS compliant logo at the bottom of the page before entering your credit/debit card details. PCI DSS compliance ensures that the organization is following best security practices to keep customer data safe. Do not provide your card information on any website or mobile application that does not carry the PCI DSS Compliant logo at the bottom of the payment page.

2. Free wi-fi networks often prove costly: Free Wi-Fi networks are never a secure way to shop on your smart devices. These Wi-Fi networks could come from unknown sources and could be set up simply to lure you into giving away your confidential information.

3. Enable two-step authentication (OTP): The two-step authentication is the easiest way to secure your transactions. The one-time password generated is unique to every user and has an extremely low probability of being duplicated. Implement the 2-step authentication for your all online transactions. After all, an additional step is worth the safety of your accounts.

4. Virtual Keyboards for Real Security: While entering your card details and pin numbers on e-commerce websites, always use a virtual keyboard. This ensures that a generic key logger cannot capture your details and send them into the hands of an eagerly waiting hacker.

5. Stay Updated, Stay Safe: Always shop using the latest web browser on smart devices and laptops. It is very likely that many hackers have figured out security loopholes in older versions and can use these to get their hands on your confidential information.

Apart from the aforementioned tips, it pays to have general presence of mind and ensure that nobody is peeping into your device while you shop online. Trust your instincts if you have a quirky feeling about a site and spend some time in reading blogs or independent reviews just to be sure. Do not let some extra time spent put you off from resorting to these basic safety measures. After all, it is said, there isn't a better investment than one's security!

About Lucideus: It provides Digital Security Consulting to businesses, governments and institutions across the globe. Incubated out of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Lucideus is now headquartered in New Delhi. With a strong focus on technology, Lucideus continues to have its research and innovation lab located at the computer science department of IIT Bombay.

Vidit leads the Technology team at Lucideus as its Director of Technology.

Vidit Baxi

Director, technology

With six years of experience in areas like Penetration Testing and Cyber Security Consulting, business process analysis, project risk analysis, risk assessments, Vidit has tested various system-related vulnerabilities for a variety of applications and hardware platforms. He is a Microsoft-certified professional and technology specialist and has trained more than 7000 individuals from 100 plus academic institutes and corporate houses including Cairn India, Ricoh, Naukri.com among others.

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