In India, a loss of Rs.128 crore in cards and online fraud were accounted for between a span of 92 days. As per data, the highest numbers of online frauds were reported in the debit card category with around 11,058 cases.
The sharp increase in online fraud cases makes it imperative for individuals to become more aware of the risks they are exposed to online. Subsequently, they should adopt practices which will ensure safe online transactions at all times.
What is online or internet fraud?
It can simply be defined as the use of internet-based services or software to scam individuals and steal crucial personal and financial data. The most prevalent types of internet frauds and their means include –
- Identity theft
- Credit card theft
- Malware and botnets
- Trojan horse
- Counterfeit websites
The most effective way to stay protected against online frauds is to become aware of them and adopt suitable measures for safeguard.
Online fraud prevention tips
Here is a list of ways which prove useful against frauds online –
- Activate ad and pop-up window blocker
Individuals should activate pop-up window blocker on their device to ensure a safe browsing experience. Also, it will block malicious ads and pop-ups and in turn, will protect users against them.
Individuals should be careful against the likes of phishing and vishing scams and refrain from clicking on suspicious attachments and pop-ups from unfamiliar sources. In case individuals notice that they are receiving suspicious emails, SMS and phone calls from impersonators, they should be prompt in reporting about the same to the authorities working towards cybercrime prevention at the earliest.
- Remove spyware and adware
Both spyware and adware programs tend to spy on users’ web browsing activities. They also accompany the risk of relaying crucial information to unsafe sources. Consequently, users should install spyware and adware removal programmes on their device to protect their crucial data.
They should also install anti-spam software and firewalls to ensure a smooth and safe browsing experience. Individuals may also consider availing an insurance plan like the identity assure policy to avail extensive financial coverage against identity theft.
Read Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_fraud
- Avoid unknown sources for program download
It is recommended to avoid using unknown sources to download computer programs and tools. Such downloads may contain cyber-threatening malware which may compromise the system’s security. Also, users should be wary of clicking on email attachments from unknown senders as they may expose their system to harmful threats.
- Update anti-virus software regularly
Individuals should update their anti-virus software frequently to protect their system against new and malicious viruses. Anti-virus software that users decide to install on their system should be from a reputed provider for adequate fraud protection. Also, they should use the latest version of the operating system and internet browser to minimise the risk of malware and other threats.
- Change and protect your password regularly
It is also recommended to change passwords of payment cards and net banking on a frequent basis. Also, individuals should pick a strong password that has a combination of numbers and characters to make it difficult to guess.
It is further advised to refrain from saving passwords online and sharing details about the same with others. Today, individuals are more exposed to the threat of losing their financial data online and being subjected to online frauds.
To prevent any major financial losses and future obligations, individuals may consider availing a card protection plan from Bajaj Finserv under Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions. Such an insurance policy will not only allow policyholders to get their payment cards blocked right away but also offer them financial coverage against online thefts and frauds.
- Secure home network
Another potent means of fraud prevention is to secure one’s wireless network connection with a password. Also, individuals should avoid saving their passwords on random websites and change the same frequently. While using a public Wi-Fi network, individuals should be cautious about sharing sensitive personal information over the network.
- Shop online from trusted stores and secured websites
Individuals should make it a point to shop from online trusted stores to combat the risk of internet banking fraud. Individuals should choose secured websites to shop online or to transact through their payment cards for a safe shopping experience.
They should look for websites that start with ‘https://’ or display a symbol of a locked padlock URL to ensure a safe browsing experience. As a safety net, individuals who are more inclined to shop online may consider availing fraudulent charges cover to account for financial obligations arising due to online frauds and scams.
Besides these, individuals should also be careful when it comes to using their credit cards and debit cards safely. They should also become more aware of fraudulent practices like card skimming and theft to combat the ill-effects of online fraud more effectively.