Netbanking in India: Important Safety tips for every user

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If you have netbanking activated, its important to use it with utmost care. The service is blessing but might turn into a curse with slightest of mistake.

As stats reveal, as many as 1055 netbanking accounts were compromised in India in 2011. Out of which, money was debited from 807 accounts. So, it becomes much more important for every existing netbanking user to not provide any loophole for criminals.

In the blog, we’ll tell you the best practices to keep a netbanking account safe. Here, we tell you dos and don’t dos while carrying out online transactions, shopping and bill payments.

  1. Once netbanking is activated on your account, a kit is given to users containing a username and password. Keep the kit confidential till you don’t change the given username and password. After login, you can change the details. But until you do this, keep the kit close to your heart.
  2. Never keep a simple username like your own name or something that can be easily predicted. Name or nickname with some numerals here and there is fine. For name ‘Rajat’, good username could be rajat101, 99rajat, rajatdude and so on.
  3. In India, most people usually keep predictable password. Best practice is to keep an alphanumeric password of more than 8 characters. They are a combination of alphabets, numerals and special characters. Alphanumeric passwords of less than 8 characters can easily be broken. Longer passwords are better but 8 should be the minimum length.
  4. A fine way of keeping a netbanking account safe is the same old notion: NEVER GIVE YOUR PASSWORD TO ANYBODY. Leniency in email accounts is understandable (!somehow) but the same thing with bank account may invite serious repercussions. Avoid giving netbanking details to friends, family members or anybody else close to you.
  5. Always use onscreen keyboard on public computers(cyber cafe, offices) to keep netbanking account safe. Keyloggers program can capture the keys typed by a user, log them in a file and mail to criminals anonymously. This method of stealing user private details is often user by notorious people at cafe’s and offices. Keybloggers aren’t detectable to most antivirus suites.
  6. Opt for SBI netbanking. All netbanking services use double authentication process during transactions and bill payments, but SBI has a slight edge on this. In SBI, every transaction needs login to the netbanking portal followed by a 8 digit code sent to the user’s mobile. Thus, to overtake an account both login details as well as mobile phone need to be accessed which is quite impossible to happen(simultaneously). Other banks like HDFC are poor in this regard, their dual authentication process includes login and 2 security questions that your near and dear ones can easily predict.
  7. For safety of netbanking account, always change password at regular intervals. 2-3 month gap is fine but changing on monthly basis is much better. This’ll prevent your close mates from predicting your username and password. Someone close to you can easily know your interests, like and dislikes, which might help in derailing your netbanking account.
  8. Never pay bills on unreliable shopping websites. People tend to consider all websites as genuine no matter what’s their reputation is or what transaction channel does they use. The best solution is to purchase items from reputed websites, from not the one who offers lucrative discount but has no market reputation or just arrived on the scene.
  9. Never set high amount limit for beneficiary. When you transfer amount to someone’s account, you need to add him first(called beneficiary) and then set a maximum limit for transaction. Money transferred within this limit  don’t need double authentication. So if your account is taken over by the beneficiary then he can transfer bulk amount in small installments. You’ll only be notified when a transaction is completed. So, a smaller limit can give you time to recover but a bigger limit, say of 49000 will do lot of damage.

Safety of an account lies in the hands of users. In 80% cases, an account is compromised due to victim’s own fault. He either keep such a password that criminals can crack or gives it to his near and dear ones which might leak it to many others.

But there may be times when an account gets taken over despite no loophole. So, its important to prevent cyber attacks through careful approach.

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