By Rahul Shirgopikar, Senior Product Manager, Quick Heal Technologies Limited
As socializing and cash transactions aren’t considered safe during the current times, India is witnessing digital adoption at an accelerated pace and scale. 42% of Indians have switched from cash to digital methods for all their small and big shopping needs – be it a mobile recharge or buying essentials, as highlighted by a report.
On the one hand, it’s good news as this change helps the country steer towards a digital-first economy. In contrast, it has also led to an uptick in the number of COVID-19-related cybercrimes, with phishing and ransomware attacks leading the charts. This hurts the online privacy of consumers and businesses, and banks are no exception.
Some of the frequent attacks to the Indian banking sector include loan moratorium fraud (where hackers pose as bank representatives to convince gullible borrowers to share their bank details), PM CARES Fund fraud (where hackers made similar UPI IDs as that of the fund such as pmcare@ybl, pmcares@pnb, etc. to defraud people), and installing malware (where messages claiming to offer free services such as Netflix subscription for an entire year), among others.
So, how can you shield yourself from such frauds? Here’s sharing some tips and tricks to stay safe against evolving threat actors:
Keep your system’s security software updated
Although a tedious task, looking for software updates is as important as getting a routine check-up from the doctor. It includes essential security fixes and upgrades that protect your system from evolving attacks. So, always wait for such updates and install them immediately when you see it on your system. Never delay or keep skipping the pops ups. This will protect your system against hackers, especially while banking online.
Avoid unsecured Wi-Fi
Don’t use public Wi-Fi for online banking because it’s free. Most free Wi-Fi’s are unsecured and may inject malware into your system. Even if you are using it, don’t make online payments because doing so may make your sensitive data open to hackers and thus affect your safe banking protocols. Post using a public Wi-Fi, log out and turn off automatic connectivity – a feature that most laptops and smartphones now have.
Never disclose your mobile app activation code
Several hackers are smart enough to convince consumers through polite requests, asking for a code or OTP. As one may find the request very kind and reasonable, there are high chances that s/he simply shares that code to the unknown person. Once you do that, your system’s control may get compromised, or the hacker may easily steal your sensitive information. That’s simply against the safe banking etiquette.
Avoid signing in net banking via mailers
You may well be aware that banks never ask for the login details. This is why it is highly advisable to sign in by typing the bank URL instead of a promotional mail that says it will redirect you to the same page. It can be a bait to trap you and steal all your credentials. Remember, it’s wiser to be suspicious sometimes, especially when it comes to opening a mail from an unknown source.
Killing the tab or closing the website page might not always log you out of the account. So, log out whenever your work is done. Make it a mandatory habit to avoid banking frauds such as cross-site scripting and session hijacking. It’s effortless to follow this simple protocol, keeping yourself away from hackers and attackers. In fact, it is one of the most basic points to keep in mind while banking online to ensure safety.
Moreover, you should deploy security solutions that offer safe banking feature to protect your online banking activities from fraudulent websites and malicious programs. It protects users from potentially unsafe situations by adding a protective security layer to the entire transactional process. The software launches the browser in a secure environment, isolating the banking activity, preventing keylogging, and deploying a secure DNS to stop attacks.