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3 Ways To Keep Your Online Transactions Safe

3 Ways To Keep Your Online Transactions Safe

Technology has brought some revolutionary changes in human life in many aspects. One such aspect is the way carry out our banking activity these days.

Gone are the times, when you had to personally visit bank branches or other offices for account statements, funds transfer, bill payments, and so on. A lot of banking transactions can now be done online through your computer, tablet or even your smartphone. Besides, even activities such as shopping, booking tickets (to travel and watch a movie) can be done with great convenience via net banking, or even use of credit or debit cards wherever you are. All you need is a high-speed internet connection.

But although such online transactions have made life simpler, it has infused many risks as well.

There have been several instances of misuse of cards and online frauds. As per a report by Assocham and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), while there has been a fall in the number of fraud cases from 2009-10 to 2012-13, the amount involved has risen significantly. Moreover, about 65% of the fraud cases reported by banks were technology related. This is because of phishing, card skimming, identity theft and vishing (making consumers disclose sensitive information over telephone calls); is quite common as technology is used for transacting online.

Is there recourse?

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), it is on banks to avert the occurrence of frauds. However it is the customer who is required to prove that he is not guilty if any fraud occurs. It is observed that the aggrieved customer very rarely receives co-operation from the banks.

Now, although there are ways to get compensation in case of occurrence of frauds, the procedure involved could be quite lengthy and cumbersome. Hence, it is extremely important that you as a customer adopt immense care beforehand to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Here are a few points to be kept in mind while undertaking online banking or credit / debit card transactions:

  • Never give your password / pin to anybody:Sometimes fraudsters posing as bank officials may call you and state there is some problem with your bank account, and may ask you to give your telephonic pin / customer id / password and so on. You must never share such details with anyone. Even if an official customer care executive asks you any such information, you should not disclose it verbally as this could make your account / card vulnerable to frauds.
  • Dispose cards or vital documents carefully:Sometimes it so happens that we need to dispose a credit or debit card. This could be because the card has expired or has become redundant as a new card is issued to you. (For instance, recently several credit card companies replaced the customer’s credit card with a chip and pin card). In order to avoid the misuse of your card, the old card must be cut into several pieces before disposal. Similarly, in case you want to dispose any important documents which contain details of your address, contact number, date of birth, etc.; make sure that they are completely torn before discarding.
  • Be careful about emails asking for your personal details:Very often people receive emails which state that they have won some prize money. Such emails might ask for your bank account number, password and other personal details. They might also provide links which on clicking would display a page that appears to be the page of your bank’s website, but in reality is a fake page that will store your id and password when you enter it. Thus, you must be extremely careful while entering your personal details and must provide the same only on the bank’s official site.

PersonalFN is of the view that while online banking and the use of debit / credit cards has brought ease to our lives, you need to remain extremely careful to avoid losing your hard earned money. Following some simple measures can help you avert frauds and misuse of funds. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure.

 

This article has been authored by PersonalFN, a Mumbai based Financial Planning and Mutual Fund research firm known for offering unbiased and honest opinion on investing.

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