People are willing to share their personal data to register on websites and apps. In such a clockwork process that starts from giving data and getting desired products or services, the most important factor becomes the security of this data. If this personal data gets into the wrong hands, the consumer can be subjected to malice in the form of various frauds through hacking, phishing, ID theft etc.
According to Gary Vaynerchuk, Belarusian-American entrepreneur, Co-founder of Resy and Empathy Wines, in 2021 credit card fraud increased by 24% in comparison to 2020. The percentage might be small but when we put it in numbers, the cost is high. Here are five ways to safeguard data in order to avoid any form of mishaps:
1. Be cautious of uploading documents on social media:
There are incidents where consumers upload documents on social media or online which have sensitive data or documents such as credit reports, bank statements etc. This type of data that carries personal contact and bank information can compromise a customer’s identity. A consumer should go through the document at length before uploading it on any online portal. If it is imperative to upload a sensitive document, a user should make sure that the portal is trustworthy and secure.
2. Checking the URL:
A user must thoroughly check the URL of the website before feeding in their personal information. There are incidents of ‘Pagejacking’ where clicking on a link may redirect the user to a website that they would be expected to open. Though the webpage would look exactly like the one on the actual website, the URL will always be different. This is mostly to deceive the user into feeding key data, which would get collected in the hacker’s database and later can be used for identity theft.
3. Phishing calls and messages:
Sometimes, users may receive calls or messages stating that they have won a prize from the bank. This will further go on to ask them to authenticate themselves with the help of their bank account number/card number, an OTP number that you might have received on your phone, or other personal data. As a preventive measure, the consumers should not entertain such communication. If a fraudulent transaction has taken place, the user should inform their associated firm immediately.
4. Avoid downloading files from unknown sites:
Downloading files from unknown sources can create many problems when it comes to keeping your data safe on the computer. The downloaded file is in the form of a document/song/video etc. and can contain malware/spyware that can dig up the data stored in your PC (personal computer) and can transmit it to any remote location. If it is necessary that you download a file from an unknown source, make sure to get it scanned with software that helps detect any such anomalies.
5. Change your passwords frequently:
Changing your password frequently helps in preventing fraud. These passwords can range from your shopping apps, social media passwords, or bank login passwords. If the passwords are dynamic, it would make it hard for fraudsters to trace or hack. In addition, also make sure that the strength of your password is strong, making it difficult to guess. Avoid using combinations that are easily relatable to you such as your phone number, date of birth, pet’s name etc.
With a growing market of people going online and the push for a cashless economy, methods to prevent fraud by protecting data would go a long way to keep your money where it belongs.