Digital Transaction Security

by Raymond Pucci 0

Digital payments and mobile wallets are now used by everyone—well, not quite. But increased consumer adoption has led to enhanced security considerations according to the following article.

Demonetisation and the subsequent cash crunch has compelled people to use their debit or credit cards. Many are using payment wallets such as FreeCharge and Paytm to avoid using their cards all the time. Many of these first-time users are not fully aware of what is secure and what is not. This makes them an easy prey for hackers and people with malicious intent.

According to Norton’s Cyber Security Insights Report (published in November 2016), 55% of users born between 1980 and 2000 have been victims of cyber crime.

Here are some tips that you can keep in mind if you are using one of the digital platforms for making your next cash transaction.

Be more cautious with public WiFi networks

Easy and fast access to internet through public WiFi networks such as at railway stations, airports and coffee shops attracts many users. Users need to keep a few things in mind before connecting to any public WiFi network. One of them is to make sure you know the right SSID (service set identifier) name of the WiFi network you are connecting to.

Hackers often set up WiFi network with almost similar SSID names making users believe that there are two such networks and they can connect to any of them. Any communication made using such dubious networks will be at risk of malicious activity. It is safer to avoid WiFi networks that are not protected by a password.

Identify secure webpages

Most websites rely on certain security protocols such as HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect users and keep their transactions secure. These websites can be identified with a green sticker and through the browser url, where the link address will start with https instead of http or www.

The trend away from cash has created an underworld of cybercriminals looking to exploit vulnerabilities of mobile payments and transfers. While many security measures are just plain common sense such as password management and secure website verification, more protection is still needed. The recent announcement of token reciprocity by Visa and Mastercard will greatly enhance mobile and online payment security. Fraudsters thrive on stealing cardholder information and then using that data for card-not-present sales. Tokenization takes away that opportunity by not permitting payment card details from being transmitted along with the purchase transaction details.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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