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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Aadhaar: A step-by-step guide to lock biometrics data to protect your money from being stolen

Aadhaar: A step-by-step guide to lock biometrics data to protect your money from being stolen

Cases of Aadhaar data misuse for the purpose of illicitly extracting money have been reported. Aadhaar cardholders now have the option to lock their biometric data for enhanced security against cyber threats.

Lock your Aadhaar biometrics data to protect your savings account money from being stolenPremium
Lock your Aadhaar biometrics data to protect your savings account money from being stolen

Aadhaar Enabled Payment Systems (AEPS) empower individuals to utilise their identity for accessing Aadhaar-enabled bank accounts, facilitating tasks such as withdrawing funds and checking balances. Although designed to simplify banking access, there have been cases of financial losses due to fraudulent activities involving stolen Aadhaar information. For instance, in Karnataka, a woman fell victim to scammers who exploited her biometric data, resulting in a loss of 20,000.

The AEPS method serves as a user-friendly method for individuals to reach their bank accounts, particularly beneficial for those lacking smartphones or internet connectivity. Even if you don’t intend to use AEPS, there remains a chance that malicious individuals may exploit your data to infiltrate your accounts. It is crucial to remain vigilant about potential risks and implement precautionary measures to safeguard against fraudulent activities.

How to secure Aadhaar biometrics data?

The Aadhaar Biometric Locking is a security feature that empowers Aadhaar cardholders to safeguard their biometric information, including fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition data, to prevent unauthorised access to their bank accounts. This feature is especially crucial in India, where the AEPS is extensively employed for cash withdrawals at ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) terminals, exclusively utilising Aadhaar biometrics.

To activate the Aadhaar biometric lock, you can either access the UIDAI website or utilise the mAadhaar app. Once your biometrics are locked, they cannot be used for Aadhaar authentication until you choose to unlock them, a process that can be initiated through the same methods.

To secure your Aadhaar biometrics, follow these steps:

  • Go to the UIDAI website or install the mAadhaar app.
  • Log in to your Aadhaar account by providing your Aadhaar number and OTP.
  • Navigate to the “Lock/Unlock Biometrics" option located in the “My Aadhaar" section.
  • Re-enter your Aadhaar number and OTP for verification.
  • Click on “Lock Biometrics."
  • A confirmation message will be sent to you to confirm the biometric lock.

Your Aadhaar biometrics are now securely locked. If you wish to unlock them at any point, simply follow the same process and select “Unlock Biometrics" instead.

Why secure Aadhaar biometrics data?

It’s essential to understand that securing your Aadhaar biometrics does not impede your ability to utilise Aadhaar for various purposes, including identity verification. You can still employ your Aadhaar number and OTP to confirm your identity when necessary.

Here are several advantages of securing your Aadhaar biometrics:

  • It safeguards your finances from potential AEPS scams.
  • It shields your identity from fraudulent activities.
  • It provides you with the assurance that your biometric data is safe and well-protected.

Consider these recommendations to safeguard yourself from AEPS scams:

  • Exercise caution when withdrawing cash, relying on ATMs and POS devices exclusively from reputable banks and financial institutions.
  • Refrain from disclosing your Aadhaar card or Aadhaar number to individuals you don’t have complete trust in.
  • Maintain your Aadhaar biometrics in a locked state unless there’s a specific need to utilise them.
  • Stay informed about the most recent AEPS scams and learn how to steer clear of them.

By adhering to these guidelines, you can play an active role in shielding both your finances and identity from potential fraud.

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Published: 17 Oct 2023, 03:04 PM IST
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