Seven tips to avoid scams and theft online

As online buying and selling continues to grow and technology advances, cybercriminals are the order of the day developing increasingly sophisticated hacking tools. Within the framework of “Cybersecurity Awareness Month”, PaynoPain, Spanish technology company specialized in development of online payment tools, provides information to help users and businesses prevent cyberattacks, scams or theft of bank details when paying online.

To give a few examples, banking Trojans like Trickbot, or malware that affects financial applications like AlienBot. They represent one of the most important threats to online payments. In addition, cybersecurity experts are warning about a situation that arises as a result of the pandemic and that they have dubbed ‘mutant scams’. This is a digital transformation of crime that is here to stay.

Although one has not yet been a victim of any cybercrime. It is true that they are becoming more common. The most common in Spain is cyber scam. It manifests itself through different malicious practices to gain access to users’ passwords or bank details. According to the Statistical System of Crime (SEC), managed by the Ministry of the Interior, of the total cybercrimes reported in 2019, 88% correspond to online fraud. In the last nine years, these types of complaints have multiplied by nine, an upward trend that continued in 2020.

A survey carried out by the European Commission maintains that users are aware of this problem, but do not know how to stay safe in the digital environment. So, how to prevent scams and theft of bank details when paying online?

Seven practices that help you avoid them

  • PSD2: As netizens, it is important to know that for a payment gateway to be secure it has to comply with the European Payment Services Directive (PSD2). To do this, payment systems must verify the identity of the user through at least two authentication elements that can be: Something they have (such as their own mobile phone), something they know (such as a pin or a password) or something inherent to the user (such as their fingerprint or facial recognition).

  • Virtual cards: they are a good alternative that offers security to users with less experience in online purchases. One of the main advantages of a virtual prepaid card is that the funds have a limit. It is the user who decides the maximum available on the card. In addition, as it is not a physical card, the risks of loss or theft are reduced.

  • Digital certificate: When entering a website and making a purchase, it is essential to check the security of the site. To do this, we can check if there is a gray padlock next to the URL. This is a digital certificate that verifies that it is a secure website.

  • Multiple contact details: It is key to check that there are several ways, between two or three different ones, to contact the merchant if necessary. Generally, they are usually an email address and a contact telephone number. Another way is to search for references from previous buyers in a search engine or social networks, not on the website itself.

  • Clear purchasing conditions: Before making any purchase, it is advisable to review this information to avoid inconvenience. And, especially, if we are going to share personal information, bank details, etc. We should be suspicious when the purchase conditions do not appear on the web, are poorly written or are not clear.

  • Strong passwords: Something that depends solely on the user is the choice of the personal password. It is important to use complex passwords and change them regularly. In this way, we will be shielding our devices, without using the same password for all registrations. In addition, it is advisable to create strong passwords, applying mnemonic rules and expanding the number of characters.

  • When in doubt, distrust: something that may seem obvious, but it is worth clarifying is that we should never send our written payment details by phone, or enter suspicious links that reach us by SMS. In these cases, it is always better to doubt and resort to an official source (bank or service provider) that can help us verify the reliability of the operation.

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In this sense, from PaynoPain they develop solutions for companies. Like your payment gateway Paylands, or your wallet technology ChangeIt, in which the information and communication channels are encrypted. In this way, it is guaranteed that all data travels and is stored following the strictest security standards, helping to prevent malicious use.

In turn, from their different payment tools they facilitate compliance with PSD2 through 3D Secure authentications or “secure payment”, which prevent the use of stolen data to buy online, since the cybercriminal will not be able to specify the double identification to the time to confirm the payment. They also offer PCI support, card tokenization and an intelligent anti-fraud system, capable of identifying illicit operations based on performance standards and previous experience.

The best thing we can do to prevent scams, as responsible for the development of online payment tools, is to educate users. Both older adults and children shop online without having access to adequate information about their safety. When we go out, we all know that we must protect our wallet, but when entering personal or bank information on the web. Many times we do it without thinking, automatically. That is why it is important to educate the population about cybercrime and provide them with knowledge to help them identify possible dangers.

Jordi Nebot, CEO and Co-Founder of PaynoPain.

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