How to become e-safe amid growing cash crunch

Some handy tips to protect yourself from lurking cyber criminals


With incidents of online theft, hacks and data breach on the rise, getting e-safe becomes the foremost requirement but it’s not that a difficult task.  Photo: iStockphoto
With incidents of online theft, hacks and data breach on the rise, getting e-safe becomes the foremost requirement but it’s not that a difficult task. Photo: iStockphoto

New Delhi: With the surprise announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on demonetization of Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes on 8 November, going cashless has become the need of the hour but with this comes the inevitable need to keep yourself e-safe.

Here are some handy tips to protect yourself from lurking cyber criminals.

Most of the users are using e-wallets now from their laptops or smartphones to make transactions like cellphone recharges, payments of utility bills, shopping and even transfer of money since most of the physical cash held by them have become worthless. The Reserve Bank of India has also imposed a limit to exchange old notes (till December 30), leaving no option with the users but to go cashless.

With incidents of online theft, hacks and data breach on the rise, getting e-safe becomes the foremost requirement but it’s not that a difficult task.

Follow these simple steps and protect yourself from cyberattacks:

Install latest security software and keep all softwares up-to-date

Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep it updated from time to time. Use the latest version of your web browser and install security patches and software updates. For example, once a Trojan (an Internet virus) is installed in your system the malware monitors your online activities and reads/steals sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers etc.

Check for encryption signs

Encrypting emails, files and even your entire data storage prevents unauthorized people from accessing them. Encryption provides protection against breaches of confidentiality for both company and personal data by converting information (plain text) into code using an algorithm (mathematical formula) that prevents it from being understood by anyone who is not authorized to read it.

Change your passwords from time to time

Make it difficult for hackers to crack your password. Create smart passwords by incorporating capital letters, numbers, and special characters, and using more than six characters.

Avoid making transactions on public networks and computers

To protect sensitive information like card numbers try shopping from your home internet connection. Avoid shopping when connected to a public Wi-Fi network or public devices as data theft is at a greater risk for hacking.

Report any unusual transaction to the bank immediately

Always save records of your online transactions, this should include the receipt, order number, product description, and price. You will also want to save any emails you send or receive from a seller, which may come in handy if there’s a problem later. Also, keep a tab on all your account statements on a timely basis.

Make payments on ‘https’ URLs only

This assures that all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted and ensure that it is your bank’s authentic website. Many websites will display a lock symbol in the address bar. This is most commonly seen on the payment page of an online store. The signage means the website is using an https connection, which makes it safe to enter your information.

Don’t click on unverified links

Do not open unsolicited emails or click on any links or attachments in an email until you verify its authenticity with the sender. Do not click on any links from unverified websites or downloads from unverified pop-up messages. It is a common phishing practice to send an email that looks legitimate but contains infected files or directs the user to an unsafe website.

READ MORE