Recently there has been a spate of news on financial fraud, online banking thefts and credit card misuse. But that does not mean we should stop transacting online and lose the convenience.
Needless to say, we should be very careful when we transact online using netbanking or use credit cards for shopping. Some of the basic steps that you should definitely take are –
- Have strong passwords for all your online banking and trading accounts. They should be regularly changed. You should never ever reveal your passwords to anyone.
- Public computers should be avoided as much as possible for accessing internet banking facilities or shopping online.
- Ensure to log off completely from the website. Never just close the browser when you have finished with your work, as secure information is sometimes stored in the server.
- Ignore emails that seem to be sent by your bank/ Income tax department etc. asking for detailed personal information or asking you to click on links in the email.
- You should keep a close eye on your account. If there are withdrawals or any kind of transactions on your account that you did not make, be sure to report it to your bank right away. You should act promptly, as else it would become nearly impossible to detect the fraud.
- Most of the netbanking sites like the ones of HSBC and HDFC have automatic timeouts which means the online session will end after a certain amount of time if no activity is performed on the webpage.
- Consumer education –All banks have material on their websites educating customers about safe online banking. RBI sends advisory messages to banks that are to be sent to customers to educate them about online transactions’ safety.
- Many banks have virtual keyboards on the online banking websites so that customers can enter login credentials using that rather than the keyboard which could be misused by harmful programs that could have infected the computer.
- Many banks send an OTP (one time password) to the customer’s mobile phone when he/she makes a transaction online. The transaction can be completed only by using this OTP.
- People can use virtual credit cards instead of credit cards. You can generate a virtual card with your bank. This card will be for a specified amount and also have a unique login ID, password, CVV2 number and an expiry date. The exposure of the card in terms of timeline and amount is reduced here.
- Many banks alert the customer if there is some irregular account activity. Banks send emails or text messages when there are transactions in the bank account if the customer has registered for such a service.
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has notified banks to stop issuing regular credit cards that have a magnetic strip at the reverse of the card and to issue chip-based cards by June this year which will have higher security potential.