(Cyber) Secure your Money

Your money is now in control of powerful computers. There was the promise of better security. But age old risks do not change. There are newer threats, this time they are digital in nature. By following a few precautions and fail safe you can have a secure place for your money.

What is digital banking

Digital Banking is new age banking. Bank account details are stored on secure servers at a central location and are accessed by bank employees. Parts of your bank account can be accessed by yourself to carry out permitted transactions. Here is what a typical bank account now offers you.

Digitally printed passbook with Debit Card

Addon cards like Credit Cards linked with main savings account

Internet Banking with or without transaction rights

Phone Banking

Smart Phone Banking app

Multiple Bank Accounts

These days is makes sense to have multiple bank account. The basic salary account can be maintained without any linked cards. A separate bank account can be opened with debit and credit cards with internet banking transactions done exclusively on that account only. This reduces the chances of theft from your salary account. This will also take care of multiple problems as enumerated below.

Registered Mobile Number prepaid or postpaid

A post paid number is secure and your forever. There are however reports of pre paid SIM cards being cloned and used to access the one time password send to that particular number. The modus operandi could be like this. Call us the call centre to report a stolen or lost prepaid SIM. Carry out the transaction on the newly issued duplicate SIM. A post paid SIM on the other hand will require some work on the part of fraudsters to clone.

Security of a Debit Card

A debit card is linked to your saving account. So whatever money is available in your saving bank account is linked to the debit card. A debit card is secured by a four digit pin. This pin is mailed by post. Here are the precautions for a debit card pin

  • Pin will be mailed separately.
  • Some banks might ask you to collect it in person. If yes go for it.
  • E Pin means the PIN will be send to you by SMS on your registered mobile number.
  • Change the default PIN immediately.
  • Do not write down the PIN anywhere, just memorise it.
  • Do not use a guessable number like year of birth etc as debit card PIN.
  • Do not use the same PIN for multiple cards.

Before using a Debit Card for shopping remember it is directly linked to your saving account. A fraudster can remove all the money from the savings account and the bank will not have any liability. A credit card on the other hand has limited liability and if reported stolen, it is the card company responsibility. With debit card disputes, you will be loopholed.

With secure pin now mandatory for all transactions, insist on the card being swiped in front of you. If not decline the transaction. While entering the PIN make sure the place is not too crowded or too many unwanted people gathered around who can see and not your finger movements. Do not allow any distractions. Complete your transaction, secure your card and then move on. With swiping machines going wireless this can be done easily. Make sure you get SMS alerts for each transaction. Banks sometimes charge an annual fee for SMS alerts. Go for it, strongly recommended.

Care to be taken while entering ATM booth

Avoid ATMs which are at lonely places and offsite. Offsite means that the ATM machine is not in the same premises as the bank branch. Make sure there is no one else in the booth while you are doing any transaction. Take a good look at the ATM machine to check for any unusual attachments on the place where the card is supposed to be inserted. There will be a card reader and a camera as a set of skimming devices. Lastly cover the keypad with the other hand while keying in your PIN. Use any other finger other than the index finger to key in the PIN. Here is an excellent presentation on a variety of skimming devices found on ATMs. The best giveaway in most cases is the lack of flashing light at the place where the card is to be inserted.

Customer Care Numbers

Keep a record of customer care numbers, toll free and otherwise. If there is a direct number to hotlist or report a stolen card, make a note of it too. The process of reporting a stolen card and blocking it is called hotlisting. Various banks and card companies have their own process to hotlist a card. Find out your procedure and make a note of it. This note can be on paper or digital. If a stolen card or lost card has been recovered, destroy it.

Security of a Credit Card

All Credit Card transactions come with a 3D secure pin. It means that a four digit code has to be inserted every time the card is swiped at a POS. POS stands for Point of Sale. It is a machine at the shops where the credit card has to be swiped. A credit card also has a security chip embedded which provides additional security.

And lastly the age old cash security

The universal saying that do not carry too much of cash around holds good. A cheque transaction is much much better as it keeps a record of your transaction. Even a NEFT transaction is good enough. But always avoid a cash transaction as far as possible. No matter how much benefit you are going to incur.

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