1mobileMobile devices have become the most common method to shop on the Internet and it has never been easier to do so. But the more often shopping activities get paid by mobile, the more vulnerable this payment form becomes to hacker attacks - particularly for users connected via public Wi-Fi networks.

Quite obviously, more reliable authentication is required here, which prevents fraudsters to benefit from this development.

While it may seem as if consumers spend an unlimited part of the day in front of their desktop PC and on the websites of online shops, market research firm Forrester revealed that 80% rather keep themselves busy with their five favorite apps, which is why companies started working with social media platforms, such as Facebook, to get to the wallets of their consumers.

Both online businesses as well as consumers should be aware of the dangers and confront them with the right security measures and authentication methods. For example, the question for account recovery "What is your mother's maiden name?" can be easily answered with a Google or Facebook search. Therefore, a special procedure for a save resetting of account passwords is required that prevents the hackers to crack user accounts by means of easily accessible information. However, this process should not affect the user experience, since for sure no company wants to use a technology that hurts the user experience or the conversion rate. Therefore, to be effective, this method should require only a minimum effort by the customer.

Fraud prevention through strong authentication

The phone number verification is a simple procedure for online vendors and customers to prevent that accounts get hacked. At the same time, it involves only a small loss of time for the customer: Users receive a one-time password on their mobile phone by voice or text message, enter the password and confirm their online purchase. Since only they know the password and have access to the mobile phone, this process is a secure means of authentication that can reduce the risk of fraud significantly.

Beware of public Wi-Fi networks

Equally important for the consumer is a secure Internet connection. However, online purchases should never be made in a public wireless network, since third parties have access to the same network and theoretically can track all activities. Unfortunately, users who shop on the way to work, often go online via the public Wi-Fi networks available, making their transactions visible to everyone on the network - also for fraudsters.

TLS / SSL-encrypted websites protect the data transmission

It is important not to forget that there are of course websites with criminal backgrounds among the many thousands of Internet pages, too. Hence, before carrying out a transaction, always make sure that the address bar icon appears with a padlock and that the Internet address starts with "https". Only then it is truly encrypted via TLS / SSL connection and prevents the access of third parties that may be located in the network. The icon serves the site as a kind of credibility certificate and stands for secure data transmission.

Company and customer alike have to take care of their safety

According to the trends and technical possibilities, companies offer new kinds of online shopping and so it is up to the consumers to protect their identity and data while shopping online. For this purpose, the two-factor authentication and some precautions help users to handle their secure online payments on the way to work and in everyday life, and  online businesses should deal at an early stage with the possibilities of application programming interfaces (APIs) for the global phone number verification.

Further, it would also be useful to investigate a bit before commissioning a new service, for example by finding out how other users rate the quality of the service, what problems there are, what speaks for or against it, et cetera. That way, unpleasant surprises can be avoided and services identified that truly meet the needs of consumers.

By MediaBUZZ