According to Lieutenant General (retd.) Dr. Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Coordinator of India, over 3,500 financial fraud complaints are reported daily on the Union government's Cyber Crime portal. This startling figure reveals the increasing vulnerability of people to cybercrime and the need for better protection measures.
The growing threat of financial cybercrime
The rise of technology has revolutionized the way we handle our finances. We no longer have to go to a bank to deposit a check or transfer money. Instead, we can do all of this from our smartphones or laptops.
However, with this convenience comes a risk: the risk of our financial data being compromised. Cybercriminals constantly find new ways to steal our personal and financial information, which can lead to disastrous consequences.
Lock down your financial data: Top tips for online safety
To protect yourself from these threats, you should take three important precautions.
Protect yourself from phishing
Firstly, never click on random links. One of the most common ways cybercriminals steal your information is through phishing attacks. It involves tricking users into revealing their sensitive information by posing as trustworthy entities.
These attacks can come in the form of an email or a text message that includes a link to a fake website designed to look like a legitimate one. When you click on this link, you will be asked to enter your login credentials, which the cybercriminal can use to access your financial information.
To avoid falling victim to phishing attacks, it's important to never click on random links. Additionally, enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible, as it provides an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of authentication before logging in.
Keeping your one-time passwords safe
An OTP (one-time password) is a security feature banks, and other financial institutions use to verify transactions. The bank will send you an OTP to your registered mobile number when you initiate a transaction. To complete the transaction, you must then enter this on the bank's website or app.
Don't let malware take over your financial information
Malware is software designed to harm your computer or steal your information. It can steal your login credentials, access your files, and even hijack your computer's processing power for malicious purposes. It can be hidden in seemingly harmless applications, so it's important to only download applications from trusted sources.
To avoid downloading malware, only download applications from trusted sources, such as the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Keeping your financial data safe is crucial in today's digital age as it is also a part of personal financial management. Not keeping it safe can lead you to disastrous results like losing all the money in your bank accounts.
Anushka Trivedi is a freelance financial content writer. She can be reached at anushkatrivedi.com
Disclaimer: This story is for informational purposes only. Please speak to a SEBI-registered investment advisor before making any investment-related decision.