Every coin has two sides to it. Same stands true to internet as well. On one hand the internet has given us the convenience of accomplishing host of activities just at the click of the mouse, on the other it has also made us susceptible. In past there were dacoits and thieves, now we have to protect ourselves from the cybercriminals as well. Every individual has a virtual life and regularly access emails, social media, accounts, payments among others every day on internet. This increased exposure to virtual life, that saves host of data about us makes us even more vulnerable. Following is the list of 5 most important things that must be followed to protect oneself from becoming a victim.
Keeping a strong password for all the online accounts including the email is the first step that should be taken by every single person. There have been innumerable instances where the accounts got hacked and the data was compromised. The unwarranted access to personal details can lead to financial losses, including identity theft.
One may think otherwise but one must not hand over the original KYC documents to anyone. Only the photocopies of Adhaar Card, PAN or any other identity document (including utility bills) must be handed over where ever these are being submitted. The official can verify it with the original but the same must be done in your presence and you should not leave it with anyone, even for a short duration.
Even the photocopies being handed over should be crossed across the paper. Then the purpose for handing over the documents should be mentioned on the photocopy along with the signature and the date.
This is something that possibly is known to one and all. But how many people actually put this to practice, despite all alerts and caution notes from authorities, still carries a question mark. One must not share any password or any other online credential with anyone. Doing so can lead to miscreants accessing the accounts that in turn can lead to compromise of the online data.
One may find this to be strange but the fact is that the credit bureau report can be used to detect if one has got victimized. Today the bureaus are obliged to extend reports at zero cost once every year. So one must take advantage and check the free CIBIL score. In case of a downward trend, one would need to investigate further. One must also check the two sections of the report very carefully. The trade lines and the enquiry section.
As the saying goes, precaution is better than cure. One would need to build a defense mechanism to avoid occurrence of an issue. And this has three elements to it. Precaution, secure, insure. The first element entails ensuring that our own actions are not leading to exposing us to the fraudsters. Like the usage of credit cards should be done in front of you only. Handing over the card for swiping at some other place can lead to skimming and theft of your data. Especially when it comes to the card being used overseas and offshore online transactions. Since such transactions are not covered with two level authentication, the odds of skimming are quite high. Secondly, having malware and firewalls activation done on the computers will help keeping the spurious ware away. Third and last, buy an insurance cover against the cybercrime losses and identity theft losses. This will help in case of any eventuality.
Final piece of advice
In case you have become a victim, please inform the cyber police cell immediately and close the accounts or email ids.
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