Internet banking allows customers to access their bank account through the internet, anytime-anywhere. The advancements in information technology have led to development of more flexible payment methods in the world of banking. Customers are using online, mobile and ATM banking like never before. The world is increasingly using net banking to perform all their banking tasks, but at the same time this has given better opportunities for the cyber-criminals to exploit the user financially.
According to a report, US have made it to the top of the list for being the most affected country by online banking malware, followed by Japan and India. The report says, 23% of US citizens, 10% Japanese and 9% Indian online banking users are affected by banking malware.
Therefore, online banking users must know the different ways through which cyber-criminals exploit them. The most common being Phishing; hackers use this trick by sending unsolicited email and influence recipients to give their credit card numbers, bank account details, passwords and other sensitive information.
The second is Identity theft; here the hacker deploys various methods to gain access to user’s personal information. He can steal personal data from user’s home, office or other institutions. They can also scam users by pretending as a government official to gain credit and debit card numbers.
Keylogging is another way through which a cyber-criminal installs software called “keylogger” on the user’s device. Here, when the user is accessing Online Banking, every keystroke typed on that PC is copied to a file accessed by that criminal.
Latest is the Gameover Zeus, which is an extremely sophisticated type of malware designed specifically to steal banking and other credentials from the computers it infects. It is predominately spread through spam e-mail or phishing messages. It is believed to have been spread through the use of Cutwail Botnet.
Hence, users of any online banking service should be extra cautious when logging into a site. The following preventive measures should be taken into consideration.Tips to reduce risk by implementing security measures:
- Use Anti-Virus Software/Firewall Protection. These are the most important things you can do to protect your computer from viruses and malware.
- Keep your computer’s security settings to a higher level. Configure your computer’s AV settings to perform automatic system updates.
- Enable firewall in your PC to ensure you are secure on local networks and the Internet.
- Keep all of the software installed on your computer up-to-date. Especially software from Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle Java, and others.
Tips to reduce the risk of phishing scams:
- Identify phishing emails, such mails are filled with countless grammatical errors and are often written in awkward English.
- Never respond to emails or messages from unknown sender that have “undisclosed recipients” in the address line.
- Do not click on the link mentioned in the mail, if required type it in another browser tab to see what it contains.
- If at all you happen to click such a link and see a request for your banking credentials or other details for any kind of verification or updating purpose, do not enter your personal or financial information.
- Be careful and avoid providing information related to your credit card, bank account numbers or passwords to any unknown site or a fake site. Most Internet e-mails are NOT secure.
- Never disclose your login credentials to other people or companies.
Tips to reduce the risk of web-based attacks:
- Never get carried away by genuine-looking website that contains identical looking logos, pictures and banners.
- Check the reputation of the website before involving into any online transaction.
- If Google is unsure about that website’s reputation, leave that site immediately.
- Pay close attention to the URL (Internet address) behind the link.
- Don’t use the same ID and PIN/Password for every online account you have.
- Avoid clicking on any pop-up that appears, especially pop-ups which are displayed on an unknown website.
- There are few websites that automatically download Malware onto your computer, beware of such questionable websites. Hence to mitigate such attacks, presence of an Antivirus is a must.
Update your system with the latest antivirus software such as eScan that provides enhanced protection against evolving internet threats. To see if your system is infected or not, use the free eScan tool kit from here http://www.escanav.com/english/content/products/MWAV/escan_mwav.asp
Moreover, to protect your digital Identity and to ensure complete protection of your computer use eScan Total Security Suite with Cloud Security: http://www.escanav.com/english/content/products/downloadlink/downloadproduct.asp?pcode=ES-TOTAL-SEC