Preventing online payment frauds. A checklist for safer digital transactions

Gone are the days when it was necessary to carry cash when you walked out of home. Now, all you need is your mobile phone. Whether you are buying milk, grocery or vegetables, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments are accepted almost everywhere. 
Apr 2023
4 mins read
Digital payments got a boost especially during the pandemic and post-demonetization era. UPI transactions touched a record 7.82 billion in December 2022, amounting to Rs 12.82 trillion, as per the data released by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). Volume of transactions in December 2022 was up 7.12% compared to November 2022, while value of transactions was up 7.73% during the same period.
The rise in digital payments has also resulted in an increase in cyber frauds. Here are a few security tips to secure your digital transactions.

Keep changing passwords frequently
Changing your password at regular interval reduces your exposure to risk by avoiding a number of IT security hazards and limits breaches to multiple accounts. Updating passwords often reduces the risk of hackers to prevent constant access. It is possible for someone else to gain access to your passwords if computers or laptops are replaced regularly. Regularly updating your passwords means that even if someone finds an old or saved password, it will no longer be useful, and your data will be secure. Managing your passwords can seem a daunting task. But it truly is your first line of defense against security breaches.

Using verified/trusted apps for net banking
Always install the official banking app, keep it updated and use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) while using public Wi-Fi. The architecture of net banking apps is typically vulnerable to financial security breaches. Banking applications are typically tracked based on transaction volume and consumer behaviour. As a result, the bank is aware of the nature and frequency of transactions taking place on the platform and will take immediate action if anything unusual occurs. You may add extra layers of security and learn to spot threats by taking steps like using strong passwords and using a robust VPN.

Avoid clicking or answering any suspicious links or calls
Use security software to safeguard your computer and cell phones and set the software to periodically update so that it can deal with any new security concerns. Configure your phone's software to automatically download new updates to protect the devices. These upgrades may provide you with vital security protection. Use multi-factor authentication to secure your accounts. Some accounts provide additional protection by needing two or more credentials to log in. Back up your computer's and phone's data to an external hard drive or the cloud.
Report any phishing email or text message, or a transaction that wasn’t carried at your end. The information you give helps fight scammers. If you think you clicked on a link or opened an attachment that downloaded harmful software, update your computer’s security software. Then run a scan and remove anything it identifies as a problem.
Online financial frauds are becoming rampant and creating awareness is the most significant step towards prevention. A little awareness and caution from users end can go a long way in curbing financial frauds. It is critical that you monitor all of your online accounts and banking information. This can assist you in determining whether the scammer gained access to any of your accounts. In addition to the phishing email prevention techniques outlined above, strong email security is an effective approach to ensure that you and your device remain Cyber Safe. Prioritizing your cybersecurity allows you to send, surf, and scroll while knowing you've done the necessary precautions to keep safe online.
PGIM India Asset Management Private Limited
(CIN - U74900MH2008FTC187029)
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Email: care@pgimindia.co.in
This is an Investor Education and Awareness Initiative by PGIM India Mutual Fund.
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