Be Alert Be Secure06 May 2011
IT has revolutionised the entire world. Banking sector has also been revolutionised by this IT revolution. Gone are the days when you had to stand in the queue in a bank to get your cheques cleared, or stand in a queue to pay your Electricity bills and fight with a Bill collecting clerk at BSNL office. Internet has revolutionised the way users use to do their daily businesses. It had made it easy to shop and avail services like internet banking from anywhere, anytime without physical presence.
However, it has also increased the opportunity for fraudsters to target their preys and commit frauds. It is important for online users to be aware of such frauds and protect themselves against them.
If you are using your online internet banking account, then you should know following two kinds of frauds:-
- Phishing - Phishing is an act of identity theft undertaken by fraudsters to gain your private and sensitive information by sending emails that appear to be sent by your bank. Such fake emails encourage you to click on a link in the email that leads you to a fake website with a similar look and feel as that of the Bank's authentic website. It is designed so, to capture your personal confidential account information such as Customer ID, IPIN, Credit/Debit Card number, Card expiry date, CVV number, etc. Customers’ email addresses are purchased by the fraudster through non-trusted sites where the customer would have revealed his email ID by means of casual browsing or shared it on chat rooms, blogs or mailing lists, etc.
- Money Mules – Extraction of information using Phishing or other means of identity theft, the fraudster may get a person’s Net Banking credentials i.e. customer ID and IPIN with a motive to transfer money from customer account to another account holder of the same or different bank. The beneficiary account holder is known as a "Money Mule.” The beneficiary becomes accomplice unknowingly by social engineering techniques employed by the fraudster.
Some tips to follow while using Online Banking services:-
- URL: Use the correct URL of the bank. Do not click on any random link that claims to take you to the bank’s website. It is better if you manually type the URL on the browser. Never click on a link in an email to take you to a website and enter personal details in either the email or the website.
- Password and PIN security: Never disclose any personal information or your debit/credit card PIN or online password to anyone. Be wary if you receive unsolicited emails or calls asking you to disclose any personal information, PINs or card numbers. This information should be kept secret at all times.
- Conned Emails: Do not be conned by convincing emails offering you the chance to make some easy money. It probably is an Internet fraud or Email scam. Be cautious of unsolicited emails from overseas - it is much harder to prove legitimacy of the organisations behind the emails.
- PC Security: It is important that you always have an updated anti-virus software and anti-spyware software on your machine and keep it active always. Spyware records information about your Internet use and transmit it without your permission. This can compromise your PC security. It is important to run anti-virus and anti-spyware programs regularly.
- Check your statements: It is important to check your statements regularly; a quick check will help identify any erroneous or criminal transactions that might have been performed on your account without your knowledge.
- Secure Banking Session: Make sure that your banking session is secure. Make sure that the URL uses secured-http, i.e., it starts with https://abc.com. Some browsers such as Mozilla Firefox change the colour of the address bar (where you type in the URL) when you are in a secure session. The other indicator is the presence of a digital certificate represented by a padlock or key in the bottom right hand corner. If you double click on this icon, it should provide you with information about the organisation with which you have entered in to a secure session.
- Closing Banking Session: It is important to log off from your Internet banking session. Simply closing the window you performed the transaction in may not close the banking session. If your computer is infected with a Trojan, you session may become hijacked by a criminal and financial transactions performed without your knowledge. It is also advisable to disconnect from the Internet if you are not planning to use it.
- Educate Others: It is important that you follow the above tips. In addition, it is equally important that you educate others as well. Spread the knowledge to curb the security threats and have a safe online banking experience.
This information is not exhaustive. Read the security tips that your bank shares with you. Till then Safe and Happy Online Banking.
- How To Protect Sensitive Data Against Phishing Scam Attack (mydigitallife.info)
- Phishing: how to outwit the fraudsters (telegraph.co.uk)
- How to outwit the phishing fraudsters (telegraph.co.uk)
- Slack bank practice creates opportunity for phone phishing scams (go.theregister.com)
- Nice Guide To Online Banking (n00news.wordpress.com)
- Banks 'not on top of online fraud', warn MPs (telegraph.co.uk)
- This is your bank account on Windows (zundel.wordpress.com)