The world has grown and developed by leaps and bounds. Social Media has literally shrunk the world. The development which we have seen in less than 2 decades can easily outpace the development we have seen in few centuries prior. What has made this even more attractive is the reduction of browsing charges. With the introduction of mobile, the rate of internet connection has fallen steeply and India is currently one of the cheapest when it comes to charges per MB.
We have witnessed the rates which was as high as Rs. 100+ per GB until a year ago has now fallen to less than Rs. 20 per GB. Gone were the days of dial-up connection where we use to pay dual charges - towards ISP and Telephony. We get a package these days where all are bundled be it calls, SMS, Data - all combined.
With advancement in technology, we also have some serious security threats. These are very much out there and the unsuspecting public fall trap to this. It happens despite banks taking many measures in educating them by various means - be it via mailer, SMS, TV and Newspaper advertising etc. Most of the time it is the youngsters or the aged people who fall prey to scams.
While we have been born and brought up in an environment where we have been asked to share almost everything, we also tend to give away some of the crucial information related to our account. Earlier, these scams happened by way of sending a mail disguising themselves as the bank which had sent it. These fraudsters have even used Bank Logos and paid domain mail IDs which look very much similar to that of a mail from the bank and usually have links. When the recipient clicked on it, it would take them to a fake website where all their details would get captured and the money from the account would get wiped off almost instantly. With regular updates and promos being spread about the awareness on these phishing scams, the general public have become very much aware that they hardly give any importance to these mails.Then came another way of scam where the skimmers were used (it is still used in some places) where the card details were captured and used for online transactions. Banks took more pains to address this issue as well. They introduced a fool-proof system called Two-Way authentication. In this, a bank customer would not only have to use the pin number of his debit or credit card but he/she will also get another pin number called OTP (One Time Password) being sent to their registered mobile number with the bank.
Only with the usage of both, a transaction gets approved. This came as a big blow to the fraudsters who tried their trick by calling up the customer to get the OTP number since they would have already got their card details by way of skimming or through online (when the customer had given all the details earlier unknowingly on a fake website). It is imperative for the customer to know, that they are not supposed to disclose crucial information to anyone, even to their spouse.
What are the steps one must take to safeguard their account?
1. Keep the anti-virus up to date.
2. Do not use public computer to transact from your bank, online.
3. Enable the firewall.
4. Keep changing the password for the bank account online login, regularly.
5. Do not enter the details on the site which has not got "https" since the banks would always use a secured site.
6. Do not disclose your details to anyone especially over the phone even if they say that they are calling from the bank since the bank will never ask for it.
7. Do not fall prey to cheap tricks like conversion of reward points for cash or greater rewards over the phone.
8. Do not disclose any security info like your date of birth, mother's maiden name etc.,
9. Fraudsters will never call from a landline but mostly from a mobile phone. Do make a note of it.
10. Do not keep a written record of your PIN. Even if you do, do not keep it along with the card since it poses greater risk.
11. It is better to memorise the pin and you may strike off the CVV number of the back of the card after memorising it as well.
12. If there is a suspicious transaction that you have spotted on your account, notify the bank immediately and block the card.
13. Opt for Card Protection Plan(CPP) as it gives greater protection towards loss/theft of your card.
14. Ensure that you shut down your system only after you have logged off from your bank account, online.
15. If you suspect your computer is infected by a virus, do not use it to log on to your bank account online unless the virus is fixed and removed.
16. You may use virtual cards for online transactions since they are much safer.
17. Do not keep all the funds in a single account.
18. Do not discuss your account details in a public place.
19. Always scan the pen drive when you are using it on your laptop/PC.
20. Go for the anti-virus which gives complete protection rather than the basic one.
21. Opt for online statements.
22. Keep the lost and stolen number of your bank handy.
23. Do not use a simple password. Use them in a complex combination of word, number and a special symbol.
24. Use different passwords for different purposes. Do not use a single password for your social media login and accessing bank account details.
25. Install apps and software only from trusted sites.
Most importantly, share this information with your family and friends since not everyone knows all of the above mentioned details. It is better to share the info on security and safety rather than sharing the account details and login credentials.