Online shopping has simplified the process of purchasing products for lots of people. Nonetheless, cybercriminals also consider online shopping as a vulnerable target that would allow them to acquire loads of personal information, including credit card details, home addresses, and phone numbers, which they can sell. Therefore, online shops need to protect their shoppers from online frauds and cyber criminals. However, not all online shops have properly secured their online purchase portals, and this not only breaches the trust between the seller and the buyer, but it also exposes their clients to cyber theft. Even so, how can you identify if a website is secured for purchasing? One of the easiest ways of identifying a secure website is by ascertaining that the sellers adhere to the gold standard of consumer protection during online purchases. This gold standard proclaims that the protection of consumer data must be upheld at all stages of any online transaction. This level of protection of consumer data is achieved using different mechanisms which are described below.
Confirm that the Company is Real and Legitimate
When shopping online, you need know that the company is real, and that it is selling legitimate products. You can know this by checking whether the company lists its phone number and physical address in the website. Real companies will provide correct details, which can be confirmed and validated. A good example is the internet casino website, MansionCasino.com. Also, legitimate companies post their privacy statement and return policy in their websites.
Online transactions are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks where a third-party intercept, and deliberately alters, the information communicated between the buyer and the seller. This allows the attacker to change the details of the transactions, and even steal money from the buyer. Fortunately, man-in-the-middle attacks can be pre-empted if the communication between the buyer and the seller are encrypted. There exists a protocol that governs this form of bidirectional encryption – the HTTPS, or HTTP Secure. You can know that the website is secure if its web addresses features the HTTPS protocol instead of the more vulnerable HTTP protocol. A good example is Amazon, whose web address is Amazon.com. You can be sure that this website protects its consumer data by encrypting using the HTTPS protocol.
SSL certification acknowledges that a website uses the latest cryptographic protocols to encrypt communication between the buyer and seller, over a secured communication channel in a protected computer network. SSL certification allows the URL of the website to begin with https. For example, the URL for the premier online payment system, PayPal, is PayPal.com.
For an online business to get an SSL certification, it must undergo a rigorous validation process that not only validates the legitimacy of the seller, but it also authenticates the domain name of the business. Extended validation (EV) confirms that the website has put in place the right safety measures to protect consumer data. You can know that a website has received an EV certification if you look at the address bar, and see a green bar that has a lock icon before the URL of the website.
With the holiday season now in full swing, make sure to follow these guidelines to keep your information secure online by identifying secure websites.