In the light of the upcoming Halloween, we remind you that online shopping doesn’t have to be scary at all. Because secure online payments are a priority for many digital businesses, in this article we will show you 5 excellent safety measures for the protection of payment data from fraud.
Secure online payments
Our buying behavior has taken a dramatic turn over the last few years. The digitalization of services and the rise of e-commerce undoubtedly played the key role for this change, and the outcomes are clear – e-commerce sales reached $105.7B in the first quarter of 2017, which amounts for a 14.7% percent increase compared to 2016.
As e-commerce continues growing, it becomes more and more appealing for cyber criminals. As a response to this threat, merchants and companies have started taking extremely strict safety measures to make sure that customers are protected when shopping online.
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One of the biggest issues that concern online buyers is the fact that they don´t know what exactly happens with their credit card data once the purchase has been processed and completed. Today, we take you behind the scenes of some safety measures taken by companies to secure your information; but remember that not all of them follow the best practices for data protection, so always check the authority and reputation of the company before buying.
1. Secure online payments with SSL
In the light of the recently detected vulnerability in the network security technology WPA2, allowing the attacker to listen to the traffic between the computer and the Internet, SSL remains one of the safest measures for protecting transmitted data – so always make sure that the website you are browsing uses it.
An SSL is a cryptographic protocol that provides a secure channel for communication between two machines by encrypting information so that credit card details are protected.
In other words, SSL protects data transmissions such as those from browser to server, makes sure that you have connected to the right server, and checks the data integrity to verify that it has been delivered correctly.
How do I know that a website has been secured with a SSL protocol?
When you go to a website, you can verify SSL security by checking if a padlock icon is displayed, or if the URL shows https instead of http, as seen in the example below:
2. Encryption and Tokenization
Both data technologies are highly effective when it comes to securing online payment information, but there are some significant differences:
Encryption is the process of converting electronic data into a coded message that only the receiver and the sender can understand, and it will be inaccessible for other third-parties without the encryption key.
Think about a safe deposit box – it can’t be opened without the corresponding key, so what´s inside is stored securely there. Encryption is great for exchanging sensitive data such as credit card information across all sorts of devices and networks, so you can make online purchases safely.
Tokenization is the process of transforming a piece of data, such as your credit card account number, into a random combination of characters that don’t have any meaning if a breach happens.
The token obtained after the process serves as a reference to the original data, but it cannot derive any values from it. Tokenization is used to minimize the amount of information and credit card data that a business stores, and it strengthens the security of e-commerce transactions.
3. PCI-DSS Compliance
One of the most important measures to ensure secure online payments are the official regulations PCI-DSS. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is obligatory for all companies that store, handle, and process credit card information. It is a set of security standards and policies designed to protect payment transactions and handling of credit card data against breaches and cyber attacks.
By definition, all companies and hotels from the hospitality industry, travel agencies, online retail and e-commerce, airlines and transportation, and even call centers are obligated to meet the PCI-DSS requirements.
In other words, PCI is absolutely obligatory for processing payments on your website. As a customer choosing the right merchant for shopping online, always make sure that he is complying with the security standards, because those who aren’t are extremely vulnerable to fraud, identity theft or data breaches.
To find out whether the chosen merchant or company is PCI-DSS compliant, look for the PCI-DSS symbol on their website, such as it in this image:
They might be compliant without placing this symbol on their website, but don’t take a chance with security – they probably aren’t.
4. 3D Secure
3D Secure is a XML-based protocol that provides an additional layer of protection for transactions to ensure secure online payments.
This protocol allows customers to receive a several digit code called One Time Pin from the issuing bank, generated specifically for this unique transaction (it cannot be used for other transactions). The customer receives this code by an e-mail or an SMS, and once he has entered it correctly, the acquiring bank authorizes or declines the transaction.
3D Secure stands for 3 Domain Server as it involves the merchant, the acquiring bank, and the card issuer (Visa, MasterCard…)
5. Regular operating systems update
Operating systems that have not been updated to their last version are more vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Companies that follow the best practices for online safety always make sure that they have caught up with all security updates available for their network of computers.
It is important because hackers are constantly developing new techniques and methods to enter the system, making obsolete versions more prone to suffer an attack. Setting up automatic updates for the entire network is also an option for keeping transactions safe.
When shopping online, always make sure that you are choosing the right payment processor or merchant for making safe transactions. Look out for the necessary security symbols, and don’t complete your purchase if you have the slightest doubt about the credibility of the merchant.
As a payment platform, MYMOID always makes sure to follow the best practices for processing transactions and keeping customers’ information safe. We believe that security should be taken very seriously, and all customers should have the power and the stress-free experience to do online shopping.