Online transactions have become a part of our daily lives, making shopping, paying bills, transferring money, or even buying gaming apps easier. However, with the increasing use of the net for financial transactions, the risk of fraud and identity theft has also increased. This is why it would be wise to know if an online transaction is safe and ensure that your personal and financial information is protected.
In this article, we’ll take a deep look at a few ways to tell if an online transaction is safe and go through the most effective checks you can do if you are unsure. Let’s jump right into it and look at a few ways to prevent ourselves.
1. Do a Quick Scan Of The Website
The first thing you will want to check out if you are unsure whether a transaction is safe is to do a quick scan of the website. The good news is that it’s easy nowadays to detect a fraudulent website. How do you do that? Install a browser extension called Guardio HERE. It automatically blocks 100x more harmful websites than competitors and 10x more malicious downloads than any other security tool. It was tested and vetted by our Scam Detector team.
There are many website red flags out there that are pretty simple to spot once you know what to look for. Taking the time to do a quick check will be incredibly beneficial for your online security and privacy.
For example, you should always look for the padlock icon in the address bar, indicating that the website uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption to protect your personal and financial information. Additionally, the website’s URL should begin with “https” instead of “http,” indicating that the website is using a secure connection.
These two checks will allow you to quickly and effectively check whether or not a website is secure, letting you know if you should go through with a transaction that you think is unsafe.
However, the best way to avoid all the fake e-commerce sites is to easily detect and block them. How to do that? There is a powerful tool that notifies you if a website is real or not. You should install a browser extension called Guardio HERE (we tested it, it works and it’s worth every penny). It automatically blocks 100x more harmful websites than competitors and 10x more malicious downloads than any other security tool. Very effective.
Another easy way to verify if an online selling platform is genuine is through a website validator. If you feel a website might be suspicious, feel free to verify it using our unique Scam Detector site checker below:
3. It’s Better To Be Safe Than Sorry
If you cannot verify whether or not a transaction is safe, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If something seems too good to be true, well, it probably is. Always be vigilant, and if you suspect any suspicious activity, you should contact your financial institution or the authorities immediately.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to safeguard yourself if an incident occurs. One is using a credit card instead of a debit card for online transactions, as credit card companies generally have better fraud protection policies than banks. Also, don’t use public Wi-Fi for online transactions as it may not be secure.
Another integral step for protecting yourself online is education. Being aware of phishing scams, which are fraudulent attempts to obtain personal and financial information by pretending to be a legitimate website or organization, can help you be more prepared for when you come face-to-face with the real thing.
You should also always be suspicious of unsolicited emails or messages that ask for your personal or financial information and verify the email’s authenticity before providing any information.
You can defend yourself online in many ways, and taking all the precautions you can by educating yourself and putting some safeguards in place will increase your safety tenfold.
There are far too many downsides to risk going through with an unsafe transaction, and you should avoid it at all costs if your personal and financial well-being means anything to you. Stay safe.
How To Report an Online Scammer
Let your close family and friends know about this article. Feel free to share it if it was helpful. Meanwhile, you can report scammers and any other suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the page below:
How To Protect Yourself More
If you want to be amongst the first to receive notifications about the most notorious scams every week, subscribe to our Scam Detector newsletter. You will receive periodic emails from us with insightful tips. That will include how to prevent fraud and information about the newest tools you can use to fight crime.
Meanwhile, feel free to educate yourself with some other fraud-related articles. They are listed under this paragraph, so that you know how to stay safe online. Last but not least, if you have any bad experiences, make sure to use the comments section below to expose other scammers.
Verify a website below
Are you just about to make a purchase online? See if the website is legit with our validator: