5 Tips to keep your accounts safe from hackers

The internet is an integral part of our daily lives. We use it for communication, searching for information, making payments.

However, a bunch of people on the internet are out to get your money by preying on your unsuspecting instincts.

A Mumbai-based businessman was cheated of Rs 23 lakh after criminals hacked into his email account earlier this month. To avoid a similar fate, read on for the most common methods used by hackers along with tips on how to avoid being duped:

1. Spoof emails

All netizens use email for work or personal use. This also makes it one of the easiest methods to contact someone and entice him her with schemes.

The most common fraud emails include those about winning lotteries or a wealthy prince looking to invest money through you or regarding inheritance from unknown persons.

Emails like these from people you don't know should be red flags. Then there are mails with attachments that can install spyware or viruses when you open the attachment.

The simple way to be safe against email fraud is to neither download attachments nor send details to unknown senders.

2. Fake websites/apps

You could be scammed by visiting fake websites or installing fake smartphone/tablet apps.

Many times, it's the bank websites that get duplicated -- they may even look exactly like the original and will ask you to input your login ID and password to proceed. If you place these details, the creator will use them to access your account.

The easiest way to detect a fake bank website is to see the browser address bar. Check that the website address has 'https:' before the name. This means that the site uses a secure certificate (all bank websites use this).

In terms of apps, check for the developer name (usually written below the app name in the app store) and read reviews on any banking app in detail before installing these apps. Only download banking apps from the official app stores.

3. Ads that are too good to be true

If you see a product available at a price which is way below the regular asking price, it is bound to be some sort of scam. You can get discounts online, but when something is listed as 80 or 90% off the retail price, it's a red flag.

People putting up these deals usually ask for money upfront which is another red flag. Keep in mind that these products could also be stolen or imported products being sold, so if you actually find a genuine product make sure to take a copy of the ID proof of the seller.

4. Key loggers

A key logger is software installed on a computer that records each and every keystroke you do on the keyboard.

A fraudster can find your login details for various sites, just by accessing the entire log of your key presses. Public internet cafes are an easy target to install these key loggers to get crucial information from unsuspecting users.

There is essentially no way to detect if a keylogger is running in the background so if you must use a public computer, avoid typing usernames and passwords on the keyboard.

Use virtual keyboards instead. Most bank websites have these. You can also pull up the onscreen keyboard in Windows and use that to input the username and password.

Windows 8 users can search for an on-screen keyboard in the start menu while older Windows users can go to Start menu > All programs > accessories > ease of access > on-screen keyboard.

5. Credit card details on phone

There are many advertisements sent by banks to avoid this issue. No one from your bank will ever call and ask for your credit card details over a phone call.

Any call claiming to be from the bank and asking for bank details is a red flag.

You should not share information regarding credit cards or netbanking with anyone over the phone, even if the caller knows a fair bit about you.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/


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