Technology has greatly evolved, businesses have gone online, so is digital payment transaction [source]. But to our dismay, cybersecurity awareness is still lowest in India. Banks, financial institutions have adopted digital transactions, online banking but customer awareness is where they fail utterly.

They encourage people to adopt to net-banking, digital transactions, online payment wallet but do not make them aware of the danger that comes with it and how to safeguard. Here are some basic thumb rules that can make a person digitally secure and safeguard his/her interest from frauds

Common Precautions

  • Never ever share any-kind of OTP
  • Never ever fall for any scheme that promises you money transfer or any-kind of a lucrative deal(s)
  • Never trust a piece of news/information circulating on Social Media without a link back to the source
  • Never trust a digital news website that you have never heard of before
  • Never google Customer care helpline, instead, visit the official website and look for ‘contact us’ section

Banking Transaction Precautions

  • Never ever share OTP with anyone
  • Never ever share Bank A/c Details unless necessary (i.e A/c No, Holder Name, IFSC, Cancelled Cheque)
  • Never ever share Credit/Debit Card No., Holder Name and CVV
  • Never ever share Credit/Debit Card PIN No. with anybody
  • Never share your online banking username/password with anybody
  • Never click on an online banking link received via email and never enter Username/Password on such websites
  • Always type-in online banking URL by yourself
  • Always ensure to use HTTPS while banking online
  • Always verify SSL certificate has bank’s name and details
  • Never fall for entering OTP/PIN for incoming payment
  • Never share email received via the bank with anybody, whatever may be the reason
  • Never keep your PIN written with you, keep it memorized
  • Always hide your finger movement and keypad while entering PIN on POS devices or ATM kiosk
  • Always look out for suspicious devices attached to ATM kiosk if any (especially card slot and above the keypad)
  • Always make sure to be alone in ATM kiosk when transacting
  • Never ever take help of a stranger in ATM kiosk, if you do not know how to operate then either learn or never operate
  • Personalize your card with something so that you always identify your card, this prevents card swapping fraud
  • Always have Bank customer care no saved and handy. Inform bank on suspicious transaction
  • Always have Bank’s Card block hotline number handy, immediately block your card on suspicious transaction
  • Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible

Aadhar Precautions

  • Never ever share Aadhar No, Aadhar OTP, and other details (Use VID instead)
  • If you have to share Aadhar ID, then share Virtual ID. It can be generated here
  • Always keep your contact details updated with aadhar, if one changes contact details, same should immediately be updated with aadhar
  • Always keep your contact no updated with Aadhar
  • Always mention purpose on Aadhar copy when it has to be shared with anybody

Web/Internet Precautions

  • Never open a link in received in suspicious mail
  • Always carefully go through your monthly statement and watch out for suspicious transaction, report immediately if found
  • Never use the same password for multiple email, banking and/or online accounts
  • Never use a password that can be guessed easily (i.e DOB, Anniversary, Pets name etc)
  • Make password out of a phrase, this way it would be long and hard to guess
  • Never use public computer or devices to browse anything private
  • Always use a fresh incognito window in a browser for secure/private browsing (i.e online banking)
  • Never share your primary emails/contact no for any online offers/schemes, however attractive they are
  • Thumb rule, Nothing is free in this world, it is always trade
  • Always take notification mail of suspicious activities from email providers seriously
  • Always review email account activity periodically and change the password on noticing suspicious activity

Social Media Precautions

  • Never trust a piece of news/information circulating on Social Media without a link to the source (especially WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook)
  • Never share confidential details on social media accounts
  • Thumb rule, never share anything that you do not wish to share with anybody, nothing is secure when it is on web
  • Never put your private photos/details on any website, however secure it claims to be
  • Never befriend with a stranger and share your personal details
  • Be vigilant and ask your family/friends to not accept friend requests from look-alike accounts

Smart Phone Precautions

  • Never install applications from an untrusted source, always go for Playstore or App Store
  • Look for permissions that an app is asking for after installation. Uninstall app when you have seen permission asked does not fall under the ambit of Application (i.e A Camera app should never ask permission for Call logs or SMS)
  • Always have an anti-virus installed and updated
  • Always refuse permission for SMS read/write, Call Logs, and Background GPS/Location. These permissions should only be granted to a trusted application (Thumb rule, never grant them to any application that you installed)
  • Never sign up to any regular app with your primary email address and never use a common password
  • Never leave your phone unattended when unlocked

About The Author

I am Pankaj Baagwan, a System Design Architect. A Computer Scientist by heart, process enthusiast, and open source author/contributor/writer. Advocates Karma. Love working with cutting edge, fascinating, open source technologies.

  • To consult Pankaj Bagwan on System Design, Cyber Security and Application Development, SEO and SMO, please reach out at me[at]bagwanpankaj[dot]com

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Stay tuned <3. Signing off for RAAM