Five ways to prevent financial frauds

In view of the rampant surge of online frauds and scams, it is needed that every individual is vigilant about his/her online financial accounts.

Jan 15, 2016 10:01 IST India Infoline News Service

Technological advances do not take place in isolation; with every technological innovation, threats such as frauds and data breaches have become more pronounced. As per a report, cyber-frauds amounting to Rs 80 crore in NEFT/RTGS occurred in 2014-15. Rampant surge in online frauds and scams necessitate that every individual is vigilant about his/her online financial accounts.

Some of the measures one can adopt to achieve better cyber safety are:
  • Password matters  - Out of laziness or forgetfulness, people often keep the name of their car, pets or birthdays as passwords, which are highly vulnerable to threats. It's better to keep passwords that do not have any connection with a person and are spelt differently using a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.
  • Never opt for auto-debit of variable payments - Most of the credit card companies provide the option to opt for an auto-debit facility, which will allow the company to carry a direct debit. Though this option enables timely payments, it can be misused if the credit card information is stolen or compromised. Always place a limit on the amount that can be debited from the account.
  • Protect sensitive documents stored online or physically - It is common that people store their important passwords, including personal bank accounts in a spreadsheet or notepad. Ideally, such a practice should not be followed, and passwords should be memorized instead. However, if at all one is comfortable writing it somewhere, leaving it unguarded could prove detrimental. Even if one feels the need to write down passwords, he or she should write clues that lead to it rather than the password itself.
One-time-password (OTP) and virtual keyboard- When executing a banking transaction, it’s always better to opt for OTP using a virtual keyboard that will prevent any spyware from stealing the data.

Be alert - Always pay attention to any unusual message that one receives through SMS or e-mail. Most people opt for SMS and e-mail alerts for any transaction on their debit or credit cards. However, the routine work pressure can force one to ignore text messages or e-mails of a transaction that are fraudulent. Hence, always run through messages thoroughly to avoid getting into such situations.

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