Online Behaviours that can Lead to Data Theft

Today, during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are bound to rely on internet for many things. While connecting socially, shopping online, making digital payments and executing banking transactions, we share our sensitive personal information. Hence, it is important to take measures to be safe online.

According to IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India), the number of active internet users are expected to grow and reach 900+ Mn by 2025. In urban India, active internet users have grown by 4% over the last year to reach 323 Mn, while in rural India it has increased by 13% over the last year to reach 299Mn. Mobile phone has been the key driver for growth of internet in India.

Increased digitization and lack of awareness about safe online behavior have accentuated the issue, leading to spike in data theft, data fraud and identity fraud. Data laxity (at personal or corporate level) gives an open hand to the fraudsters to manipulate things in their favor. Be it hacking into your credit account and damaging your credit report or acquiring your trade secrets, hackers can harm you in multiple ways.

Hence, awareness about data security is important. Being vigilant and altering your online behavior can go a long way in warding off data theft and related frauds.

Online Behaviours you need to keep under check  

Here are some risky online habits that you must be cautious about in order to keep yourself safe from data thefts and frauds.

  • Using same password for multiple online accounts:

    Using same password for your online accounts on Gmail, LinkedIn, Facebook, Net banking etc., exposes your accounts to greater risk of data breach. Hackers can easily get access to all your accounts by simply hacking into one account.

  • Sharing personal details on unknown sources:

    Be careful, scammers often create websites or attractive offers to obtain your personal information and use it to their advantage. So, refrain from revealing your personal details on unknown platforms.

  • Reusing the same password for long time:

    It’s recommended to keep changing your net banking passwords or mobile banking pin to avoid compromising your data.

  • Storing passwords and card details on phones:

    Keeping your card details in emails or phone is certainly a No-No as it can easily be accessed by someone close to you or in case your phone is stolen. Fraudsters can use your credit card account number, PIN and security code to make unauthorized transactions, without needing your physical credit card. This can hurt your financial stability and also impact your credit report and credit score.

  • Transacting on public Wi-Fi:

    Did you know that when connected to a Wi-Fi, your device broadcasts airwaves? A hacker (connected to the same router) can identify these airwaves and tamper with your transactions. If you want to make an important time-sensitive transaction, opt for a cellular network.

  • Failing to Check the authenticity of the URL:

    Make sure to check the credibility of the website. Go for PCI-DSS compliant sites for any online transaction.

  • Providing copies of Govt Id cards:

    Do not give your Pan Card, Aadhar, Passport or driving license as address proof to any source without verifying the purpose. These are very crucial information that can get you into serious trouble if misused.

  • Over sharing on social media:

    Sharing personal contacts and other personal information on social media can be detrimental to your data privacy. Cybercriminals use social networking to aid their cause. So, avoid over-sharing online, especially in public forums or with strangers.

While the above tips may help you curb the chances of data theft, you certainly need to be extra vigilant with your financial accounts too. Set up regular transaction alerts or sign up with credit information companies for credit monitoring. Avail the benefits of cyber security products that will help you track individual demographic and financial data all over the public, dark and deep web and sends alerts in case your data is exposed.

Little efforts in the right direction today can save you from heavy losses of future.

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