Combatting OTP fraud: 3 best practices for secure online transactions

OTP fraud is a prevalent cyber threat in digital banking and online transactions. Understanding the importance of OTPs, implementing two-factor authentication, and maintaining good digital hygiene are key preventive measures.

Sajish Pillai
First Published21 Jun 2024, 12:54 PM IST
In the digital age, online transactions face increased risks like OTP fraud.
In the digital age, online transactions face increased risks like OTP fraud.

In the digital age, the convenience of online banking and e-commerce has become indispensable. However, this convenience has also heightened the risk of cyber threats, especially in the realm of digital banking and online transactions. One of the most prevalent threats is OTP (One-time password) fraud, where cyber criminals exploit the digital codes meant to secure transactions and personal data. To combat this threat, it is crucial to adopt a proactive approach.

The importance of OTPs in digital authentication

OTPs are a critical security feature in the digital authentication process. They generate a unique code for each transaction that expires shortly after issuance or once it has been used. This mechanism significantly enhances security by limiting the time window for potential misuse. However, the effectiveness of OTPs can be compromised by sophisticated cyber criminal techniques such as phishing and social engineering. These methods deceive users into revealing their OTPs by impersonating legitimate requests from banks or trusted institutions.

Understanding the role of OTPs in your digital security regimen is paramount. Awareness and education are vital, as no legitimate organisation will request your OTP through insecure channels like phone calls, emails, or text messages. Using secure and verified platforms is critical. Always ensure that you are conducting transactions on legitimate websites. You can verify the authenticity of the website by checking its URL for the correct domain and encryption. Recognising fraudulent attempts to acquire sensitive information is the first step in safeguarding your digital assets.

Implementing robust security measures

Implementing a two-factor authentication is a good practice to enhance your protection against OTP fraud. This method adds a layer of safety that requires another form of verification, such as a fingerprint or security question, making unauthorised access more difficult. Additionally, signing up for automatic alerts from your bank for any transactions or changes to your account settings can provide immediate notification of unauthorised activities.

Maintaining good digital hygiene

Maintaining up-to-date personal information with your bank and other financial institutions is vital. By ensuring that your contact details are valid, you can rest assured that you receive all essential communications regarding your accounts directly, reducing the risk of interception. Regularly updating your passwords and security settings further enhances your defence mechanisms. Use strong and unique passwords for all your online accounts. Avoid using easily guessable passwords such as your name, birthdate, or frequently used words. Instead, create passwords that are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

In addition to these steps, adopting good digital hygiene practices is crucial. This includes being cautious about granting permissions to third-party applications that request access to your online banking data. Be cautious of clicking on links or opening attachments in emails or text messages from unknown senders. Avoid public Wi-Fi for transactions and use secure connections such as VPN (Virtual Private Network) to ensure maximum safety. Regular reviews of your bank statements and account activities are good practices and allow you to identify and respond to unusual transactions.

Keep your software and operating system up to date. Software updates often include security patches that fix vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

Preventing loss from OTP fraud

Despite these measures, you may still be a victim of OTP fraud. A quick response in such a situation can go a long way in mitigating potential losses. If you receive an OTP without initiating a transaction or suspect a communication is fraudulent, contact your bank immediately to secure your accounts. Report the incident to the local cybercrime department so that they can take immediate action.

As technology continues to integrate more deeply into our daily lives, the importance of maintaining good digital hygiene cannot be overstated. Regulators and industry players are constantly enhancing security protocols to safeguard digital transactions, implementing stringent measures to prevent cybercriminals. Despite these efforts, the ultimate responsibility for security often rests with the individual. By staying informed, vigilant, and proactive, we can ensure that our engagement with digital services is not only seamless but also secure.

Sajish Pillai, Managing Director and Head—Assets and Strategic Alliances, Consumer Banking Group, DBS Bank India.



Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.MoreLess
First Published:21 Jun 2024, 12:54 PM IST
HomeMoneyPersonal FinanceCombatting OTP fraud: 3 best practices for secure online transactions

Most Active Stocks

Tata Steel

03:57 PM | 16 JUL 2024
0.25 (0.15%)

Oil & Natural Gas Corporation

03:58 PM | 16 JUL 2024
-0.15 (-0.05%)

Bandhan Bank

03:41 PM | 16 JUL 2024
2.95 (1.51%)

Coal India

03:59 PM | 16 JUL 2024
14.4 (2.89%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

Natco Pharma

03:59 PM | 16 JUL 2024
73.2 (6.06%)

Century Textiles & Industries

03:48 PM | 16 JUL 2024
116.85 (5.56%)

Tata Teleservices Maharashtra

03:54 PM | 16 JUL 2024
4.23 (5.49%)

India Cements

03:55 PM | 16 JUL 2024
15.8 (5.14%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    New Delhi
    HomeMarketsCibilPremiumMint Shorts