Friday, February 27, 2009

NETBANKING - Things to know before you use it.

Friends, in the era of ever increasing Internet penetration and ever dependence of mankind on technology , thing which slowly but surely finding its way in our lives is net banking. Net banking simply is carrying out most of your banking transactions through Internet without really visiting the branch premises. The percentage of banks customers moving to netbanking platform has grown manifold . With this other thing which has grown manifold is the instances of people getting scammed by fraudsters on the net. However, there are few tips which if used wisely can minimise such risk, though not completely wipe it.

1. Stay alert from "phising "on Internet

There are lot of fraudsters out there trying to get access to your bank account details and passwords. Its not uncommon to find unsolicited mails from "your bank" asking you to verify your account details like account number and password on some pretext or other. These are mails sent by hackers and one should never reply to these mails . Best is to call up your bank and check with them if they have sent any such mail. Common sense would tell you that no bank would ever want you to verify your account number and password when they already have it. But this is the most common form of fraud happening on net with respect to net banking. Some fraudsters are so smart that they design a duplicate site which has the look and feel of the original site of the bank and hence people fall for them. My suggestion is that irrespective of who sends you mail , as a matter of principle you should NEVER revert on internet with your account details.

2.Type the url of the bank site directly on the browser

Always type the url of the bank website while logging on for netbanking. Never follow links which direct you to the banks website. They may be from a hacker. So avoid that.

3.Never give your password and have alpha numeric password
There are 2 rules with respect to passwords:-
a. Have a password which is easy for you to remember ,but, difficult for others to guess. One way of doing it is by having alpha-numeric passwords like america@5498 or period@763etc rather than having america and period as passwords.
b. Never give your password to anyone ever .
For making online purchases , always use a credit card with low limit of say 15-20k. This will ensure that extent of liability on misuse of the card is limited.
5. 2 bank account policy
Since no matter what we do , the medium of Internet has its own risk and people using netbanking are exposed to the risks that come with it, I suggest you should have a bank account where the bank balance is not much and use it for netbanking purposes like paying your bills, making money transfers etc. This will ensure that your whole savings is not exposed to the risks of netbanking.
If you sue above mentioned points , then you will be fairly ring fenced from the ills of netbanking, but , like all good things this too has its limitations and one must be willing to accept it as part of the overall package.

Happy Banking...

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