There are so many transactions being completed on the internet, that you might not even bat an eye at inputting your credit card information on any given website. Well, we are here to remind you of the dangers of doing just that!
There is no way around using your bank or card information online these days, so the best thing to do is focus on your online anonymity.
Why is Online Anonymity Important?
Imagine you are going to the bank to deposit a large amount of money. When you get there, they point to a whiteboard in the lobby and ask you to write down your name, address, bank info, and password. What would you do?
I imagine you would be looking for a new bank, pronto!
With the ease of digital hacking and spying, this is effectively what you are doing when performing online purchases and transactions without taking steps towards anonymity.
It is incredibly important to make sure that your information is secure form the prying eyes of criminals out to take everything you’ve worked for.
Top 3 Secure Online Payment Methods
Making online payments is one of the most dangerous things to do if you are not careful. Let’s look at our top 3 payment methods and how secure they are:
Credit cards come with fraud protection and offer the ability to reverse transactions. This means you can report when you don’t receive items you’ve paid for, but also that your card company can put a stop to fraud when it is first detected.
Though there are some good security features, if this information does get leaked it can cause major issues.
Third-party Payment Services
Payment services like PayPal can be a good option because they come with conflict dispute measures. Additionally, this adds an extra layer of protection between your information and hackers.
Unfortunately, disputes with third-party services can be a bother to resolve and might end with your account being closed.
Cryptocurrency is a decentralized currency that is processed among multiple networks while providing total anonymity for the user. This form of currency has no identifying links to its owner and can be one of the most secure methods of online payment.
The downside is that not all vendors accept crypto. Additionally, it can be difficult to understand and impossible to make disputes.
How Do I Stay Anonymous While Making Online Payments?
Use an Anonymous Email
One of the easiest ways to increase your payment anonymity is by creating a single-use or disposable email address for transactions. This keeps payments from linking back to an email that has important information stored within.
Use Prepaid Cards
Prepaid cards are a great way to make anonymous purchases. These cards are reloadable and are effectively just digital wallets for cash. This means they do not link back to you in any meaningful way.
As we mentioned before, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are a great way to make anonymous payments since they do not link to any information that could identify you in real life.
Online Payment Security Tips
Staying secure while making online payments can be really complicated. You can use a credit card with great fraud protection, but it isn’t even close to anonymous. You can use a prepaid card to stay anonymous, but there is virtually no fraud protection if the card is lost or stolen. Where is the happy medium?
Take a moment to look over the online payment security tips to make the most out of your online shopping and bill payments:
Virtual Private Networks
VPNs (virtual private networks) are vital to overall digital security.. These services encrypt your data, provide you anonymity, and create a secure tunnel for all data to pass through. This means creating both an anonymous and secure online transaction!
If you are in the market for a good VPN read this review about Private Internet Access service to kickstart your research.
Use Password Best Practices
When creating passwords for bill pay websites or any website that involves using your personal information, remember to create strong, effective passwords. It is recommended that your password should be at least 11 characters long. This is because it makes it much harder for hackers to decipher your password.
Also, don’t use common knowledge information about yourself as a password (kid’s name, birthday, etc.). Another bad idea would be using sequential numbers.
Don’t Make Purchases on Sketchy Websites
Always take the time to look up the reputation of any website that asks for your information. You don’t want to fall predator to a phishing or key-logging scam!
Always use the internet to search for a website’s reputation and ensure the results aren’t coming from a page owned by the original website! This is why it is better to trust reviews from a third-party site versus the reviews on the website itself.
Always use two-factor authentication to ensure that your cryptocurrency isn’t accessed by unauthorized users. Two-factor authentication protects you by making it so a hacker would not only have to ascertain your password, but also a time-sensitive code.