Sonu received some SMS messages on his cell phone that ended up resulting in a loss of nearly Rs. 20,000. The text messages warned him that the KYC verification of his bank account was about to expire, and the 30-year-old dialed the number in the message. Then, he spoke to what he thought was a customer care executive of the bank, who asked Sonu to send a request from his phone to begin the KYC process. Since he could not find the option in the bank app, the customer care executive very helpfully sent him a link to download a remote support app to help.
As a result, the so-called customer care executive, who was a scammer, had full access to Sonu’s phone. He installed several apps to silently track incoming OTPs, took out all the money from his savings account, and transferred over Rs. 20,000. The whole process took minutes, but till date, Sonu still feels trauma over the event.
To avoid falling prey to such situations, it becomes important for the users to understand the measures to safeguard themselves from the risks of online thefts like phishing, hacking, and others. Simple precautions to safeguard your finances through digital transactions can prevent cyber frauds.
Let’s see ways to protect yourself against digital frauds:
CREATE FOOLPROOF PASSWORDS
“Be sure to use a strong password” is advice we constantly see online. To ensure your password is unique and strong, use alpha-numeric words with at least 1 capital letter and 1 special character (like @#&*). Avoid using common passwords like your date of birth, and mobile number, etc. It is also suggested that one must keep changing the passwords every six months.
NEVER REVEAL OTPs, CARD DETAILS WITH ANYONE
OTPs make a strong authentication tool to make online transactions more secure. Never share personal information like net banking credentials, OTPs, PIN, etc. over mail or text. Keep it private & confidential at any cost. In fact, do not save account credentials on your phone because phone data can be easily hacked in today’s day and age.
SAFEGUARD YOUR CARD
In the advent of digitilisation, we all prefer to make payments with credit/debit cards. Remember, the details like passwords should be inserted secretly. In case you feel that someone has your password; change it immediately.
USE SECURE GADGETS
Effective anti-virus software can prevent frauds that are caused by viruses and malware. Regularly updating the security software, operating system etc. can save you from falling into a trap.
USE TRUSTWORTHY INTERNET CONNECTION
A private secure network is always preferred for online financial transactions as it safeguards personal information. If a public Wi-Fi network is being used, be cautious of the information that is being shared on the internet.
DON’T FALL FOR PHISHING ATTACKS
It is advisable to refrain from opening emails from suspicious email addresses as phishers may attempt for easy access to your accounts. Watch out for any suspicious activity on your browsers, mailbox, and text messages and stay alert!
The author, Nidhi Malik, is Vice President, CSR and Communications at Home Credit India. The views expressed are personal