You must have seen recent newspaper reports about fraudulent emails going out to customers of various banks asking them to update confidential and sensitive information pertaining to their accounts, Debit Card numbers / PIN numbers, Internet Banking user IDs / PIN numbers etc. This fraudulent method of obtaining account information is called Phishing. Here are some points to remember to protect yourself from such fraudulent activities.
A little about Phishing: The Phishing email may also direct you to a spoofed (copy) website or pop-up window, which looks exactly like the real bank site. The fraudster sends “spoofed” emails that appear to come from a legitimate website or source that you have online dealings with such as a bank, Credit Card Company or an ISP – any site which requires users to have a personal identity or account. The email may ask you to reply with your account details or personal information in order to “update security” or for any other reason.How to protect yourself from such dangerous activities?
At the very basic,
Check the website you are visiting is secure. Before submitting your bank details or other sensitive information, the following checks will help ensure that the site uses encryption to protect your personal data: If the address bar is visible, the URL should start with ‘https://’ (‘s’ stands for secured) rather that the usual ‘http://’. Please note that the fact that website is using encryption doesn’t necessarily mean that the same is legitimate. It only tells you that data is being sent in encrypted form.Following the above steps would help you transact over the net in the most secure environment. I reiterate the following simple precautionary measures:>> Never let anyone know your PINs or passwords, do not write them down>> Do not use the same password for all your online accounts. Use different password for different accounts and activities.>> Avoid opening and never reply to spam emails, even if purportedly sent by the Bank.>> In case of suspicion, report the matter immediately to your bank. Always keep the contact number and e-mail addresses of bank officials and customer care wing.
>> Look for the padlock symbol on the bottom bar of the browser to ensure that the site is running in secure mode.
>> Disable the “Auto Complete” function on your browser to prevent your browser from remembering Passwords.
>> Always logout to terminate your session, instead of closing the browser directly.>> Always type the address of the bank website in the address bar of your browser or access it from your stored list of favorites. Do not access the bank website through a link in an email or through another website.>> Always have very strong password with a mix of using special characters like # $ @ etc.. along with small and capital letters and numbers.The above are the best practices to escape from any possible dangerous situations. It is always advisable to use your commonsense along with any such fraudulent mails or information. You can always contact your bank to double check the status of information to proceed with.