Shocking results from a survey on cyber safety practices and the state of digital literacy

Urmila Chanam
Posted February 14, 2020 from India

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. 

Article link: https://www.deccanherald.com/city/survey-of-netizens-shows-large-gap-in-...  

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.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

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.

This story was submitted in response to Technology for Change.

Comments 24

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maeann
Feb 14
Feb 14

Thank you for sharing this article Urmila. We really need to be vigilant when it comes to online transactions because always this scammer will get all they need and what they need.

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dear Maeann,
When educated, intelligent, tech savvy people take to crime, ordinary people will fall victims incurring huge financial loss and earning stress and anxiety. If we use online and phone banking, we should learn how to be safe in guarding our online banking information. In Bengaluru, the Information Technology hub of India and home to thousands of MNCs and IT companies cyber police wing is very active because along with good work, crime using technology happens side by side. I am glad the shared messages will make us more vigilant.
Love and hugs
Urmila Chanam

maeann
Feb 25
Feb 25

I agree, thank you.

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 15
Feb 15

Dear sister,
Thanks for sharing this. It has made me think about how to make sure I stay safe with banking on line and international transfers. So important!

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dearest sister Tamarack,
I have added updated information today on how to make banking safer. Please do read and let us practice and tell other sisters too.
Loads of love,
Urmila Chanam

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 25
Feb 25

Thanks for all of this. When I get fishy messages on my phone (even a week ago) I get in touch with the Govt, Bank etc directly and through regular mail. My father was badly scammed a few years ago. All info on this, including banking, safe money transfers and cell phone use is really important.
Big hugs,
Tam

Mercy Vernyuy Munyuy

Hello Umila
Thank you for sharing. I think this is a call for our beloved sisters to learn how to protect their online space to avoid being victims of such cases.

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dear Mercy,
Ignorance and half knowledge are equally harmful for women. Let us know how to use internet and our phones or laptops especially to protect ourselves.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam

Anita Shrestha
Feb 15
Feb 15

Dear Sis
Thank you for sharing this informative artilcle. Please share more and more in the future.

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dear Anita,
I am glad you benefited sister. Have a fruitful week ahead.
Love always,
Urmila Chanam

Hello, dear sister,

Thank you for sharing this with us. It’s truly important that we keep ourselves safe, together with our important information online. It’s alarming that hackers are actively accessing information online.

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dear sister Karen,
The trap is more complex and like a web hard to identify. At times it may be in a way we are not acquanted with. Sticking to convetional banking and communication may be advised for those who are unable to keep abreast with technology?
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam

That is true, sister. I had a friend who found out her credit card was maxed out because of stolen identify. Really scary.

Felicitas Wung
Feb 16
Feb 16

Thanks so much for sharing

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Sending you love.

chimdirimebere
Feb 18
Feb 18

Thanks for sharing this information on cyber security. There is need to know more about this since all our information is made bare on the online. God help us!

Chimdirimebre

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dear Chimdirimebre,
This could be the new prayer now because the current times have new dangers. But we do not have to fear and be helpless. As World Pulse women we are examples of using technology/internet for our benefit. Spreading awareness on the dangers and also benefits go hand in hand my sister.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam

Regina Afanwi Young
Feb 20
Feb 20

Thanks for sharing this storey Urmila. Shocking indeed but we could always draw a lesson from any bad experience. No want has the right to cheat or scam but I advice everyone to have a basic knowledge in technology. This might help some how.
Thanks

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dear Regina,
Technology is going to only get more advanced and our life can be a constant learning. We have to stay updated too.
Love,
Urmila Chanam

lizzymark
Feb 22
Feb 22

Thanks dear for this very informative piece. I also have very little knowledge on the great danger of cyber scam,but this is helpful.

Urmila Chanam
Feb 25
Feb 25

Dear sister Lizzymark,
I have updated some handy tips today in this post with respect to banking online. Please read them and I am confident we will be safe.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam

lizzymark
Feb 26
Feb 26

Its Okay dear,thanks

lizzymark
Feb 26
Feb 26

Its Okay dear,thanks

Fanka
Feb 29
Feb 29

hello Chanam,
Thank you for sharing. Scamming is real online.