Our lives have become incredibly simple thanks to online banking and payment options. With a few simple clicks, we can do anything, anywhere—not just pay and buy from any location, but also carry out significant transactions and investments digitally.
However, did you know that despite these advantages, a single mistaken click on the internet or a smartphone might get you into trouble and cost you money? A daily average of 229 financial frauds were detected in India during FY 2020–2021, according to the Reserve Bank of India.
Here, we’ll go through the top ten precautions you can take to avoid financial online fraud and conduct secure transactions.
We frequently hear the term “financial fraud.” Hackers and online scammers keep finding new scams every day, taking advantage of the ignorance of individuals using the internet. To maintain the security of your financial online dealings, you must always apply caution and follow a set of predetermined procedures.
A Few Tips to Stay Protected Against Online Fraud
Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
- Don’t Tell Anyone Your Private Details
Never divulge your personal information to strangers in any form of communication, even if they claim to be from a bank or other financial organization. Remember, no financial institution would ever ask for such private information. Always verify the authenticity of the individual requesting the information before transferring money.
- Don’t give anyone “remote access” to your computer
Anyone trying to acquire remote access to your personal computer is generally a fraudster unless you have specifically invited them in. Those committing online fraud often make excuses to obtain access to your computer. Once they have access, they can use your email and banking information, like IDs and passwords that many of us save on our browsers, to commit fraud.
- Keep your bank accounts secure Make sure your bank offers security features such as automatic logout, strong encryption, two-step verification, etc. Only give staff credit cards if the card issuer offers fraud protections, such as notifications if spending exceeds a threshold. Also, make sure your bank has strong customer support to block your account and cards quickly in case of online fraud.
- Keep your computer systems secure
Those committing online fraud are skilled at hacking computers. Make sure you have the best firewalls and anti-virus software. Encourage complex passwords. Keep changing your passwords every 60–90 days. Consider weekly or daily off-site file backups. And never save your information online. It may appear simple, but it is extremely dangerous.
- Only download apps from trusted and certified sources
The convenience of mobile apps for accessing many services on the go is undeniable. However, not every piece of software has a foolproof security system. As a result, you should be wary of the apps you install on your phone and make sure they are legit and tested to avoid financial fraud.
- Only visit verified and authentic sites No matter how legitimate a website appears to be, you shouldn’t give out any personal information or make any purchases unless you’ve verified it’s authentic. Customers should only enter sensitive information on websites that begin with “HTTPS://” rather than “HTTP://” or “WWW.” Beware of financial fraud whose domain names look authentic.
- Secure your online connections at all costs. Never sign in to a public Wi-Fi network on your phone It makes your data vulnerable to financial fraud. Public Wi-Fi networks are insecure with little to no encryption. It allows frauds to spy on you and even steal your personal information easily. Always use a safe, encrypted connection if you’re dealing with money or sharing personal financial details online.
- Be wary of who you share your banking information with
For many reasons, you might have to share your banking ID and password with a friend, spouse, family member, secretary, etc. Make sure you trust them and that they are aware of the safety necessities of online transactions. Educate them about online fraud and how they can avoid it.
- Don’t leave your devices unsecured
Make sure you keep your devices password-protected or bio-locked. Never leave them open or within reach of anyone. Keep your apps and banking ID protected as well. Never enter your ID, PIN, or password with someone watching.
- Insure yourself
There are many preventative steps you can take, but ultimately none of them will guarantee safety. Have insurance in case of a fraud attack. You can reduce potential financial fraud from identity theft with ID theft insurance. The insurers will notify your creditors and refund your stolen money, depending on their terms. You can also opt for insurance that covers losses due to fraud.
The purpose of this article is to help you avoid financial fraud. In the last several years, online fraud has risen in India and elsewhere throughout the world. However, if you follow the aforementioned advice, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim of such crimes. If you have fallen victim to fraud, you should also notify the police so that the criminals can be brought to justice and your money can be recovered.
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