We are living in the age of the Internet, and we conduct many of our activities online – such as shopping and banking. Certainly, the online process is much more efficient and faster. However, while basking in the convenience of it all, users cannot ignore the various perils that lurk beneath online transactions.

What is cyber security?

According to Nate Lord, a former editor of Data Insider: “Cyber security refers to the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. Cyber security may also be referred to as information technology security.”

Types of cyber fraud

In order to tackle cyber fraud, it’s important to understand the different types, so that people know what they’re up against:

1. Phishing:

This is the most common type of fraud, where someone pretending to be a bank or any other trusted source sends people an email asking them to share confidential information, which can be used to defraud. This information can include login IDs, passwords, account numbers and so on. Phishing can often be difficult to spot as the `phishers’ may create mails that duplicate those sent by a bank.

2. Virus and Trojans:

Perpetrators can use sophisticated viruses and trojans to get into computers or smartphones and collect personal information that can be used to defraud.

3. Credit Card skimming:

Sometimes, a small device is inserted into a card reader, which `skims’ information from a Credit or Debit Card, like name, card number, expiration date etc. This information is then used to make unauthorised purchases from the card online, or to create a duplicate.

4. ATM skimming:

The same kind of skimmer can be used at ATMs to get information from an ATM card. A small camera will record the PIN number as it is being typed. This is later used to withdraw money from the account.

How to prevent fraud

Here are a few ways to ensure cyber security.

1. Phishing:

No bank will ask for confidential information. So users should ignore emails asking them for such information, or call the bank to make sure. People should be especially wary about clicking on links that take them to another site where information will have to be divulged.

2. Viruses and Trojans:

Everyone should have the latest anti-virus software installed on computers. It’s best to avoid public computers. It’s also better not to use public WiFi while carrying out online transactions, since information sent over these networks are not encrypted and could be intercepted by hackers and misused.

3. Credit Card skimming:

While using a Credit Card at any outlet, shoppers shouldn’t let vendors take the card out of their sight. If the card reader looks unusual or shows signs of tampering, they should insist on another one.

4. ATM skimming:

Only ATMs that are well-lit and have a security guard should be used. No one else should be in the ATM cubicle.

5. Be alert:

Customers will get SMS and email alerts each time they make a transaction with their Credit or Debit Card. Customers should keep an eye out on those. They should also look at financial statements and bills closely and check for any untoward transactions.

What to do if there’s a cyber-fraud?

1. Call the bank immediately and block the Credit/ Debit Card as well as your account immediately. You can call the customer care number.

2. Lodge a complaint at the local police station with proof of fraudulent transactions, like SMS, email and bank statements. A complaint can also be made to the Cyber Cell of the police.

3. If the fraud is reported within three days, the financial burden won’t be on the customer, according to RBI rules.

What the bank does for customer protection?

1. Robust security systems to prevent your privacy and data in accounts.

2. Email and SMS alerts each time transactions are made.

3. Well-guarded ATMs so customers don’t have to worry about skimming.

4. Two-factor authentication, requiring customers to use a one-time password (OTP) sent to their registered phone number.

Banks make every effort to secure your money, data, and peace of mind. If you ever experience an attack, inform your bank immediately.

Click here to know how you can keep your bank details safe!