Secure online payments – 5 things to check before paying online / How to spot a secure site

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Secure payments
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The world is quickly going online. Most of the businesses I know have an option for online payment, and the ones who don’t have it are looking to add the feature soon. You won’t probably believe me but even my local ice cream truck wonder wants me to pay him through PayPal. But a big problem with online bill payment is trust. There are lots of scam sites which have their eyes set on your money and if you are not careful enough, you can easily get cheated.

So how can you find out if a site is secure enough or not? Well, there are a number of things you can look at before paying to ensure maximum security. We have made a list of such things you should look at to spot a secured site.

Secure online payments – 5 things to check before paying online / How to spot a secure site

Payment methods

Before paying, you should check out which payment method the website supports as it can give you crucial information about the owners. First of all, all big and trusted websites offer multiple payment options which include options where you don’t have to share your bank details such as PayPal and credit card.

Also for offering credit card payments, a site owner has to get registered with the bank. Only then they can receive the money from them, means if a site offers credit card payments, then there has to be a real person behind it.
On the other hand, if a site only has options which require your account details like a debit card, then you should think twice before using the site because they can be only looking to get your details which can be used against you.

For example, most gambling sites has a wide range of payment options including, PayPal and Skrill, so you don’t have to share any sensitive details thus you know it’s secure. So Be sure to search for the most popular and secured form of payments, like the one Paypal casinos have.
Protocol

Internet protocol is the first thing you should check before making any online payment. There are two of them HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol) and HTTPS (HTTP secure). You can find out which protocol the site is using by looking at the top left corner of the screen, just before the website URL. HTTPS means your data is encrypted. It means it will be sent in code words so even if anybody steals the info, he will have to break the code which is nearly impossible. A good example of a secured site is Paypal and Upwork.
On the other hand, HTTP means your data is sent as normal text and if anybody hijacks it, then he can use it the way he wants. So do check the protocol before making any payment.

Design of the site

The design or look of the website tells you more than you think. First of all cheap pop up, ads are considered as a spam alert. If the website is asking you to pay money then they should not be irritating you with these ads. Also, some important pages such as privacy policy, contact, a disclaimer should be easily accessible through the home page. If a site lacks all these pages then it can not be trusted.

Cookies policy

Most of the websites which require online payment use cookies. So they have a clear cookie policy to ensure that you know that files are being downloaded in your browser.  In many countries having a clear cookie policy is also a legal requirement. So If a website has a cookie policy means they are following legal things and they can be trusted.

Physical address and other details

And finally, having a physical address and a phone number helps you to know that the person(s) behind that site can be contacted directly too. Means if the site goes down for some reason, then you won’t be completely lost. So before making any online payment, we suggest you to make write down the contact info of the site owner. Also, a clear return policy helps you in the case of a failed transaction.

Wrap up

What else do you check before making any online payments? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments box.

IMG Credit: Wikipedia

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