How safe is your Digital Cash?

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Internet security experts warn caution as India takes the cashless route. India’s shift towards becoming a digital economy, like any major world event, is a big opportunity for cyber criminals to find vulnerabilities. The following are some ways the security of your transactions could be compromised:

Point-of-Sale (POS) Machines

  • Unauthorised POS devices can copy the details of credit and debit cards while swiping them in the machines
  • Compromised devices can replicate cards
  • The internet network that PoS devices use can be hacked to get details


  • Hackers can use malware-infected debit and credit cards to take control of an ATM network, causing the ATM to spit out cash
  • Installation of fake micro ATMs can be used to capture card details for use later
  • Crooks can take advantage of first-time ATM users under the pretext of helping them transact at ATMs

Online Transactions

Marketplace transactions

  • Saving card details on marketplaces can expose customer info in case of a breach
  • Cyber-attacks on marketplaces can give hackers access to customers’ personal info as well as details such as on merchant and vendor payments

Digital wallets

  • Online wallets are easy targets for attackers. Since wallet transactions are of smaller amounts, many wallets do not use very advanced security measures, making them vulnerable to attacks
  • Many wallet apps keep their users signed in on their wallet accounts, leaving just a single layer of authorisation for a hacker to get through

Secure your Transactions

Online Transactions

  • Avoid saving card data online
  • Pay online using OTPs
  • Before entering details on any website, ensure it is a secure link. Web address should begin with ‘https’
  • Avoid using personal info such as birthdate/names for passwords
  • Avoid using card-on-delivery option with new online retailers. It is safer to use digital wallets for payment at delivery

Mobile security

  • Use password manager apps that generate random passwords
  • Do not use the same password for digital wallets and netbanking
  • Log out of digital wallets once a transaction is completed
  • Avoid installing third-party apps on your phone that pop up during ads
  • Activate mobile tracking to wipe out data remotely in case of device theft

How you can make sure?

Here are some ways to make your money digitally safe:

OTPs and QR Codes

OTP also known as One-time passwords are the same as normal passwords, hence, sharing them with unknown entities can lead to losing money. Similarly, scanning unverified QR codes (Quick Response) could also mean losing your money.

Many banks and websites let people change their passwords with OTP authentication. Scamsters now have started taking control of an individual’s online banking logins, just by asking for OTP authentication. Also, scanning any QR code could capture details linked to an individual’s wallet, bank account, etc. which then can be misused. Therefore, do not share your OTPs or scan random QR codes, make sure they are authentic.

Clicking on Link

It might look like genuine mail or an authentic link, but fraudsters send mail that is masked to look real which is basically phishing. These could be messages from genuine sources such as banks, insurance companies, etc. Experts say it is better to avoid clicking any such links at all since most people cannot distinguish between genuine and fake links.

Storing Card Details

Most people save their debit and credit card details for ease of transaction on various sites and platforms. However, experts say ideally it should be avoided. One could also turn off their auto-fill facility in one’s browser along with turning off any credit card’s online and tap and pay facility through the bank’s mobile app or website. Turning it off might increase inconvenience but experts say it will surely make online transactions more secure.

Tap and Pay Cards

New technological advancements include tap and pay, without even entering any pin or code. Even though this facility brings in ease of access with no PIN authentication, it can also be troublesome if the card is misplaced or stolen. Experts say one should limit the usage of this facility or block it entirely to ensure safety.

Unsubscribe from Offers

Industry experts say, offers, discounts and promotions attract a lot of attention and most people fall prey to fraudsters through promotional messages. Hence, the best way to keep scams from happening ad falling prey to fraud is by unsubscribing from these promotional offers. Be it the banks and other financial institutions, unsubscribe from such promotional messages as they bombard consumers with a lot of promotional emails and SMS.