Note: This article is not written by me but I found it is critically important for women to know that digital literacy is incomplete unless awareness on cyber safety is practiced by us and non-adherence can have life changing results in terms of falling victim to financial frauds or physical safety. The article relates to a survey done among netizens in Bengaluru city in India and was published on 14 February 2020 on Deccan Herald.
Survey of netizens shows large gap in digital literacycybersafety practices A survey of over 7,500 Indians on how they use the internet has revealed a yawning gap in digital literacy and cyber safety practices. The year-long survey, conducted in both metro and non-metro areas and covering netizens aged 18 to 55, discovered the rampant sharing of one-time passwords and even bank account passwords. transactions over five times a month, primarily money transfer and online shopping, but only 37% said they changed their internet banking passwords regularly. Of these, a third could not recall how long since they changed their banking account passwords.
Unsurprisingly, 66% of these respondents admitted to having been scammed online, either through spamming or phishing. Despite being victimised, 52% of respondents said they had not filed police complaints, citing apprehension or reluctance to undergo the “hassles of filing a complaint”.
This trend appeared to be largely followed by Bengaluru’s netizens, 700 of whom were surveyed for the report compiled by the online e-commerce portal, OLX, in the run-up to Safer Internet Day, which was observed on February 11.
According to the survey, 32% of Bengalureans transacted online more than 15 times a month, while 33% transacted less than five times. The top three transactions involved money transfer, online shopping and utility bill payments. Remarkably, 52% said said that they were more comfortable transacting offline, a preference which appears to be reinforced by the fact that 68% said they were victims of financial fraud.
Upon being scammed, 47% said they reported the crime outright to police, while 33% did not. Twenty percent said they wanted to report the crime but held back because they did not want to deal with the police. Forty-three percent said government and private companies working together could contain cybercrime while adding that “police also need to have a better approach towards such cases and victims.” They also said more awareness would raise user vigilance.
The nature of the scams revealed the gullibility of the victims. Twenty-nine percent said they had shared their OTPs, while 12% said they shared their bank account number, password or UPI PIN. Fourteen percent had shared their debit or credit card fiigures, including their CVV security code. At the same time, a majority of Bengaluru respondents (63.5%) were leery of conducting financial transactions on public WiFi networks such as those at the airport or a cafe - significantly lower than the 67% national average.
I received a very important mail from my bank containing precautions we can take to secure our financial online identity and I am sharing it here as a continuation of this post.
Take precaution against online fraud
Stay alert and avoid falling into the trap of fraudsters. Take the necessary steps to avoid download of rogue applications. Read on to how rogue applications work and reads your sensitive information.
HOW DO ROGUE APP OPERATE?
These apps have inbuilt loopholes to gain access of your sensitive information such as contacts, SMS, notes, media files and pictures. Fraudster can access your sensitive information using following:
a. If you’re accessing a website with malicious content from your smartphone, your smartphone might be vulnerable to Trojan attacks.
b.These apps include malware which sniff mobile content real time and update it to fraudster.
c.These apps can not only access your past data, but also can operate on fraudsters fingertips such as getting current location, take photos, send SMS.
d.Rogue apps can be of any category such as photo editor app, finance app or any gaming app.
Never download applications from untrusted sources redirected from web, SMS or e-mail links.
Always download banking applications from respective app store i.e. Google Play Store or Apple Store.
Never install assistance software on your smartphone and allow anyone to access your mobile remotely.
Keep weekly monitoring on permissions granted to installed applications
Any webpage trying to download file on your browser must be closed immediately.
If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from your bank regarding updating sensitive account information like PIN, password, account number, please NEVER SHARE.
So, stay alert and follow these steps to safeguard your hard-earned money.