Consumer Issues
OTPs, PINs & Passwords
Cyberspace is a lot more dangerous than the streets of your neighbourhood. Be extra cautious, especially while doing financial transactions
 
The issue of online fraud is becoming bigger every day. Every other day, there are reports of someone being duped through fraudulent online transactions or by a tele-caller. The latest theme used by fraudsters is asking for a one-time password (OTP), under the pretext of verification, increase in credit limit or loan sanction. Since financial literacy levels is low in India, several people—including many highly educated ones—easily fall into such traps, and then cry foul. Once you lose your money, it will be difficult to get it back. The only thing you can do is to be extra cautious, especially while using your debit/credit card and when using mobile/Internet banking. Also, opt for transaction alert service  via SMS (short message service), which is now a paid service, from your bank. The small amount (Rs15 per quarter) can save thousands of rupees later. Here are some tips to follow...
 
OTPs: When you are using financial services for online transactions, the server, depending upon its configuration to use specified algorithms, generates a one-time password, or OTP, and then sends it to the user either to her registered mobile handset or through email. The transaction is authenticated by using the OTP which means you can successfully make payment or transfer money online.
 
Precaution: Never share your OTP with anyone. If you receive an OTP for a transaction that was not initiated by you, then immediately contact the bank or card issuer. Be extra careful not to share the OTP, especially over a phone call. It may be a fraudster who has initiated the transaction and would be seeking the OTP from you to complete it. In case you receive such a call asking for OTP, then it is time for you to immediately change your password for that account.
 
CVV/PINs: Card verification value (CVV) is used in situations where personal identification number (PIN) cannot be used. The CVV is printed on the reverse of a credit or debit card. For such transactions, like at an ATM or point of sales (POS) terminal (shop), the customer is required to enter the PIN to validate the transaction. However, despite instructions by banks, people are found sharing PINs with near and dear ones. Some even write it on a paper and keep it along with the card or share it with restaurant waiters while paying their bills. No wonder, a thief would have a ball, if he lays his hands on it.
 
Precaution: Never ever share your CVV or PIN with anyone either in person or over phone calls. In addition, do not write the PIN anywhere. When you receive a PIN for your credit or debit card, the first thing you need to do is to visit an ATM of the card issuer and change the PIN. And remember not to use your (or your spouse’s or kid's) date of birth, consecutive (1234...) or identical (1111) numbers.  
 
Passwords: For general sites, which do not affect you personally or financially, use simple, memorable phrases, to create passwords. Reserve your strongest, most distinct passwords for critical services—like your bank account, your computer, personal e-mail and social media sites.
Precautions: Never share your passwords with anyone. Create passwords using memorable phrases; mix it with numbers, special characters. Never use a word from a dictionary, either as base or password. Feel free to mix languages. For financial transactions, I would suggest a password with a length of at least 13 characters.
 

What To Do if Duped? 

The first thing you need to do is to contact your bank or card issuer. File a complaint either through email or in writing. Change the password or PIN. Keep all your correspondence with the service-provider in a secure place. Follow it up regularly until your issue is resolved. If required, you can seek help from Moneylife Foundation’s Free Credit Helpline where retired bankers provide guidance on the exact steps that need to be taken to resolve the issue.

User

COMMENTS

Mongal Dan

4 months ago

Very timely and most important article, we need to apply and get
benefit from it.

How not to become a victim of cyberfraud
There is no escape from the cyber space and risks associated with it. Therefore we need to have a strategy to minimise our risks, including, protection from obsolescence, unfair practices, and protection of our identity and digital assets, says Dr Anupam Saraph
 
Who is the custodian of your digital assets? Do you have a strategy to de-risk and protect yourself from modern messiahs promising the wonders of the digital age? Is it really worth the risk to have your smartphone run your life? These were the questions raised and answered by Dr Anupam Saraph at a seminar organised by Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai on "Don't Become a Victim of Cyber fraud: Protect Yourself Now".
 
Dr Saraph, former IT advisor to Chief Minister of Goa, Mr Manohar Parrikar and former CIO of Pune City, said one needs to understand the risks associated with transactions in cyber space; implications of data leaks and privacy breaches through social media or email transactions and your remedies.
 
"There is no escape from the cyber space and risks associated with it. Therefore, we need to have a strategy to minimise our risks. This includes, protection from obsolescence, protection from unfair practices, protecting identity and digital assets," he said.
 
Dr Saraph also explained with several examples, factors that affect our digital experience, like net-neutrality, privacy policies and legal terms of use, audit-ability and digital culture. 
 
Talking about net-neutrality, he said, when the net-neutrality was threatened in the US, President Barack Obama himself took a stand and did all he could to ensure net-neutrality was not compromised. Violation of net-neutrality is looting India of its entrepreneurship, innovation and digital future. It is excluding India from the internet.
 
Net-neutrality allows fair, just, unrestricted and non-monopolised access to the internet. The access is agnostic to the media and content consumed by its customers across the network. "Display of 'internet' in the domain name (internet.org, for example) when the organisation neither owns nor administers the internet is unfair trade practice. Offering websites knowing they are not the internet or slicing up the internet based on content or media, knowing that such does not comply with the standards placed by the World Wide Web (WWW) Foundation or the founder of the WWW, Tim Berners Lee, is also unfair trade practice. Refusing to sell the full internet knowing well that such refusal will raise the cost of internet packages is unfair trade practice," Dr Saraph said.
 
Talking about privacy policy and other legal terms of use, he said, there needs to be a right to opt out and the user should be able to prevent sharing her data with third parties. Dr Saraph said, "Users need to be provided with the right to be forgotten besides policies to safeguard them from unauthorised access."
 
"The systems or websites should have audit-ability, which will have ability to track back a transaction to a person. This will also ensure transacting parties does not deny transaction," he added.
 
Dr Saraph, who had worked with Malcolm Slesser et al. in Edinburgh in the late 1990s to develop the ECCO modelling paradigm for assessing the economic and energy potentials of nations and regions, said, "To protect yourself from obsolescence, you need to use open source formats to store digital assets, upgrade backups to current media and avoid using digital platforms that evolve fast."
 
"Protection from unfair practices can be obtained by choosing to opt-out whenever possible, and avoiding digital platforms that lack privacy protection and have unfair terms of use," he added.
 
Talking on protecting identity online, Dr Saraph, said, "Opt-out wherever a single ID will run your life, avoid digital platforms that lack privacy and have no human help and most important, whenever possible use a two-step authentication."
 
Cyber-crime and privacy breach in India has been growing exponentially every few months. In this scenario, remember your identity, assets and existence are at stake and you only are responsible for your security. So next time you are online, be vigilant and try to minimise your risks, Dr Saraph concluded.

 

User

COMMENTS

Krishnamurthy Sundararajan

1 year ago

How not to become a victim of cyberfraud-please publish this event video in Utube.Krishnamurthy

Excessive alcohol use draining US economy: Study
 Excessive drinking cost the US $249 billion in 2010, or $2.05 per drink, a significant increase from $223.5 billion, or $1.90 per drink, in 2006, says a new study.
 
Most of these costs were due to reduced workplace productivity, crime and the cost of treating people for health problems caused by excessive drinking.
 
The findings of the study by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that excessive alcohol use continues to drain the US economy.
 
"The increase in the costs of excessive drinking from 2006 to 2010 is concerning, particularly given the severe economic recession that occurred during these years," said one of the study's authors Robert Brewer, head of CDC's Alcohol Programme.
 
"Effective prevention strategies can reduce excessive drinking and related costs in states and communities, but they are under used," Brewer said.
 
Binge drinking, defined as drinking five or more drinks on one occasion for men or four or more drinks on one occasion for women, was responsible for most of these costs (77 percent). 
 
Two of every five dollars of costs -- over $100 billion -- were paid by governments, the study found.
 
An average of 88,000 deaths each year, including one in 10 deaths among working-age Americans ages 20-64, can be attributed to excessive alcohol consumption, according to the study.
 
The 2010 cost estimates were based on changes in the occurrence of alcohol-related problems and the cost of paying for them since 2006. 
 
The researchers believe that the study underestimates the cost of excessive drinking because information on alcohol is often underreported or unavailable, and the study did not include other costs, such as pain and suffering due to alcohol-attributable harms.
 
The study appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

COMMENTS

SAMUEL WARBAH

1 year ago

Alcohol consumption should be banned in India.But that is just my opinion.

PPM

1 year ago

We have a state in India which is solely running on liquor sales revenue and the complete police dept., is used to give security for the bars.

Sometimes, it looks like the government is working only for the liquor mafia.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)