How to Secure your Information Online

Updated: October 23, 2014

Everyday, more and more people are trusting websites with their personal information.

Some use their credit cards to book flights and shop online. Others use their social media accounts as log-in for websites. And of course, most of us share details about us in social networks.

The question now is, how do we ensure that our data remains secure?

Today’s guest article written by Emma, will try to help us with this problem.

Let’s now read what she has to say.

online security

These days, most of us carry out at least a few transactions online and for many of us – this is a day to day thing as we organise money transfer online or do high value shopping online. So how do you know whether a website is safe or not – and what do you look out for?

Firstly, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Many stolen or sub-standard goods get offered online at big discounts by small traders on auction sites. Look out, in particular, for phrases like “the actual item supplied may not be identical to the illustration” or something similar. And if any web site asks you for your card details when you’re responding to a free offer, it is most certainly fraudulent.

Ask whether you can properly identify the seller from the information on their site. The law says that a commercial website must include contact details – so make sure you can find a trading name, a street address and a contact phone number if you can.

It’s always worth calling or getting in touch with them to make sure anyone you’re dealing with sounds business-like and if the whole thing feels right when you speak to someone. Remember – you can always find another supplier so don’t take risks. Beware of sites that only give out mobile contact number details and make sure you read the Terms and Conditions before sending payment online.

If the trader’s website is their own, you can use a WHOIS service online to find out the site’s webhost and domain name registration details. Double-check if these match the details given on the site and find out how long they’ve been registered.

If it’s only for a very short time, beware. If everything does check out then you should next carry out an online search for customer comments in online communities or via independent blogs If this is through a well-known auction site like eBay, the site should publish a seller’s ratings and history which are always worth checking, though remember that these aren’t fool-proof.

When it comes to paying, ensure the address of each page on the ordering site starts with “https://”. This is vital on the page when you put in your bank or credit card details and the last “˜s’ before the colon is important because it means that the data you’re sending and receiving on the page is encrypted in transit. Moreover, a pop up warning saying the website you’re on isn’t the same site that owns the certificate, then this should make you very suspicious.

Overall – if in doubt, leave it out.

This guest post was contributed by Emma, a reader of this blog based in the U.K.

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Photo credit: dannyoosterveer


  1. I know it sounds counterproductive to keeping your information safe, but I suggest to get as much of your finances online. By having it online and downloading you have a quick response when something weird happens.

    I had my American Express account hacked a couple years ago and caught it within a day because I download my data into Quicken. I spotted the charges and got them quickly reversed. If I depended on mailed statements, it might have been close to a month before I discovered it.

  2. great post! you really need to review or check the website before signing up especially when entering your credit card number. i always check if it is a secured site by seeing to it that it starts with https or just http. everybody should be aware of that.

  3. Wonderful tips! Technology always have positive and negative effects. Security is vital especially when entering credit card number. Keep your information by following tips given in this post.

  4. First off, I agree with Mike one of the commentators, his advice of putting your finances online may sound counter-productive but its very prudent. Its easier noticing somethings off when you are constantly looking at it or have a quick way of doing so, I think you can even set alerts for when anything is out of order.
    Second, I think one to be really cautious when entering banking details or card numbers online, read that url twice and even look up the reputation of a site/company if in doubt.

  5. Honestly, there’s no safe place in the internet. Even the established businesses online cannot guarantee your information safety. That is why it is very important to limit the things that you disclose online. Also, get a credit card with low credit limit to purchase online. This will help you to avoid bill shock in case your card has been compromised.

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