13 Jan DO’S AND DON’TS IN ONLINE TRANSACTION/PAYMENTS
Do’s and don’ts in online transaction/payments
When people settled down indoors to ‘socially distance’ themselves because of a pandemic, digital payments adoption touched record highs. For the first time, UPI transactions crossed the 200-crore mark in October.
Innovative means of financial transactions including the video KYC, instant loans, digital payments etc. has allowed people and companies to manage their finances from home. The PIDF (Payments Infrastructure Development Fund) is set to ensure digital payments reach every nook and corner of the nation especially in rural and semi urban areas. Despite the bright outlook for a ‘Digital India’, this necessary shift from traditional to digital also comes with a host of challenges. This includes, among others, data thefts, cyberattacks for ransomware, phishing & whishing scams and more.
While the system providers like banks, government bodies, fintechs etc. are taking due precautions while setting financial payments infrastructure, it is important to keep in mind some critical ‘dos and don’ts’ of digital payments in the capacity of user as well.
Secure rules of engagement in online transactions
Not unlike maintaining your hygiene and following a list of social distancing rules to avoid the virus, you should follow a set of best practices to avoid any security or fraud risks when transacting online with your mobile or computer devices. The following Dos and Don’t’s are a few towards this direction
- Secure devices: Your phone or laptop also contains critical financial information and should always be locked and secured with updated anti-virus firewalls to prevent unauthorised use.
- Secure networks: Avoid using unsecured hotspot or public Wi-Fi networks to conduct financial transactions as they are vulnerable to remote access by strangers.
- Secure applications: Always download the official application and login from the official website of banks or fintech lenders, and never download apps from untrustworthy sources.
- Do your homework: Be it a bank or vendor or app, it is always best spending some extra time investigating their background first – either through their website or reviewing the number of downloads on the app store.
- Don’t follow trend- Trust and safety are two most important while opting for online/app-based transaction. Thoroughly check for government registration/certifications while taking loans.
- Check the URL : Please ensure whether you are doing transactions with the official website of the banks/financial institutions.
- Emailing information: Never send full account numbers, passwords or wiring instructions through email, and use a secure file-sharing service or the official apps as they’re supervised by government regulations.
- Opening attachments: Never open an unsolicited email or text link from an unknown source as you could end up downloading a malicious virus onto your device.
- Securing passwords: Your password authenticates your identity and therefore must not be shared with anyone or saved on the phone. It is always best to memorize it and update regularly.
- Delaying reporting: Any suspicious activity you notice on your transaction history, or loss of debit/credit card should be reported immediately to the issuer/bank as any delays can leave you with financial-liabilities and losses.
- Do not carry away by offers/verification calls: Fraudsters tend to make a call in the name of offers or verification. Do not share OTP or install device sharing apps to others
The bottom line
Frauds and theft can happen to anyone at any age – be it with physical or online Given that the world is increasingly accustomed to the convenience of instant payments, shopping, banking and more, the number of sophisticated criminals will also increase. It is therefore important to have a general awareness about ways to minimize financial risks for yourself, because every hard-earned penny saved, is a penny earned.