Security in Online Payments

With the rapid increase in the volumes of online payments in recent years security has become a major focus in the industry. Today we’ll look at security measures and the steps that can be taken to mitigate risk when paying online.

As mentioned in the previous post another layer of security has been added to make online payments more secure in the form of 3D Secure. This is in addition to entering your card number and CVV / CSC which is found on the back of your card.

As individual consumers we can look for the green padlock icon and make sure the site we are visiting is secure by seeing if https is present in our browser’s address bar. However the padlock does not absolutely guarantee safety, so it is best to stick to reputable websites.

Fig 7.1 Error Message

The purpose of error messages is to alert us to an unusual condition occurring when we’re using a computer.

One such error message is the following:
‘There is a problem with this website’s security certificate. The security certificate presented by this website was not issued by a trusted certificate authority.’

This means the website’s certificate (which enables your browser to establish a secure connection with the website) could have expired. The certificate helps your browser to decide if the site is actually what it claims to be.

Sometimes however, error messages can be caused by your own computer, such as if the date and time are incorrect or if you have recently enabled new secure settings on a website.

‘Check a secure connection’

This message can appear for a few reasons:
– Connection between website and browser might not be secure
– The site’s certificate is out of date
– The certificate is not from a trusted third party
– An extension on your browser could be causing the problem – check your browser’s ‘help’ tab if this occurs

‘SSL Connection Error’

The reasons outlined above can cause this error message, as well as some others such as
– Trying to access the site from behind a corporate firewall
– The webpage contains items which are secure and non secure

There is no complete guarantee of security. All these security measures and user attention make online payments very secure. For starters, a simple step we can all take to increase security is using passwords that are difficult to guess by containing a combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers and symbols.

Having a high level As a business there are several steps you can take to increase security, such as:
– Making sure your payment system meets PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) requirements.
– Adopting 3D Secure e.g Verified by Visa as a fraud prevention measure.
– Ensuring data isn’t being stored needlessly and that there is a strong information security policy within the company.

Error messages vary depending on the browser you are using but information on error messages is often included in the help menu on your browser.

If you have any questions about online payments please let us know via and we will incorporate it into our next post.