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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Here’s how you can keep your smartphone data secure, avoid fraudsters

According to a recent report, fraud from mobile browsers and apps contributed to 73% of total fraud transactions in the third quarter of 2018. Here are easy tips that will help you avoid fraudsters.

tech Updated: Feb 08, 2019 14:56 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
Easy tips to avoid SMS fraudsters
Easy tips to avoid SMS fraudsters(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Harish Chander, a 52-year-old businessman from Gurugram, allegedly lost Rs 60,000 from his back account after he downloaded an application from a link sent on SMS. He also reported that OTPs sent to his number were automatically redirected to a different number.

If true, this will not be the first time fraudsters have tried to access private data of users through malicious links shared via text messages and even WhatsApp.

According to a recent RSA report, fraud from mobile browsers and apps contributed to 73% of total fraud transactions in the third quarter of 2018. Fraud from mobile apps increased by 27%. The report also pointed out that India is amongst the top phishing hosting countries second only to the United States.

To ensure your private data remains secure, don’t click on malicious links shared on SMS or WhatsApp. Most of these links contain malware and adware that makes it easier for criminals and fraudsters to hijack your phone and even lead to online theft like Chander’s case.

Read: Gurugram man clicks on link in phone, loses Rs 60,000 after app is installed automatically

Here are some easy tips and tricks that will help you keep fraudsters at bay.

Never click on links that seek details about your debit card, credit card or income tax for this instance. Also, not just text messages, be wary of such links sent on WhatsApp or emails. If you receive any suspicious message regarding your bank account, call up the respective bank immediately and make a query of the same.

Download applications from the official Google Play Store or Apple App Store only. Turn off settings that allow the apps to be downloaded from untrusted sources, bypassing the official app stores.

Use security applications from Avast, Kaspersky, and Quick Heal to keep a tab on the apps downloaded on your phone. Check what access these apps have on your phone. For instance, a Torch app does not need access to your contacts or SMS.

You can also make sure your Google account is safe by running a ‘Security Check.’

Use Have I been pwned? website to check whether your email account is safe or not. The website also allows you to check security of your passwords as well.

Use two-step verification tool for your crucial accounts including Facebook, Gmail, and WhatsApp.

Use strong passwords. You may also consider using password management tools like LastPass.

Use a strong and unique password for screen lock and in-app lock on your phone.


First Published: Feb 08, 2019 14:46 IST