Whenever we are looking at any guide to paying bills online, it is imperative that we ensure the guide takes full account of our security in the process of doing so. There are many risks inherent with paying bills online and if we do not take them in to account, we may very well be exposing ourselves to potential fraudulent use of our accounts and consequent inconvenience and hardship.
The first step in the guide to paying bills online is in knowing what information we should reasonably be required to provide to the recipient of the funds and which details they have no requirement to know. There will never be an occasion where the recipient of the funds will be entitled to know our password to any online site or the PIN Personal Identification Number – for the card with which we are paying the bill. It is reasonable, however, for them to ask for the PAN – Personal Account Number – on our card, the security code on the reverse and the expiry or valid from date which may appear on our card.
Where we are paying bills in the form of simply sending funds to the company’s bank account directly from our own, we should ensure that the relevant details are obtained directly from the company themselves. This may be achieved via a verified telephone number, the statement we have received advising us of the amount due, or even by visiting one of the branches or offices belonging to the relevant company. Details should never be taken as read from such as a suspicious looking e-mail which may or may not be from the relevant company.
When we are paying bills online, it is also important that we consider the computer from which we are doing so. If we are paying the bills from our own computer, where we know that there is full firewall and anti-virus protection, we should be safe enough in doing so. Similarly, if we are using our own desktop PC at our reputable place of work, we should not encounter any problems. Paying bills in this fashion from such as a PC in an Internet cafe, however, could potentially be fraught with danger and we should avoid doing so wherever at all possible.
Paying bills online can of course subject us to risks which we would not encounter when paying them by such as post or over a counter but if we are sensible about the practise and ensure that we take the necessary precautions as detailed above, paying bills online can be an extremely efficient and beneficial way of doing so.