Internet banking frauds and ways to avoid them is undoubtedly a topic that has been widely discussed. And yet, people across the country continue to lose money in such frauds with an alarming frequency. Today computer and internet has become very common and necessary in our daily lives. Back in 1990, less than 1 lakh people were able to access Internet worldwide. Now around 2.5 million people are hooked up to surf the net around the globe.
The IT Act, 2000, was enacted primarily to provide a platform for e-commerce to take off in India. The Act does not sufficiently cover social media crimes and mobile phone crimes. No doubt, the implementation of the IT Rules, 2011, was a welcome move as it mandated provisions for Internet Service. Though, banks have multiple server farms and software to monitor security, they need to work on how to have effective customer awareness programs as far as Cyber Fraud and banking fraud are concerned.
As the use of internet is increasing, a new face of crime is spreading rapidly from in-person crime to nameless and faceless offences involving computers. Cyber Frauds includes all unauthorized access of information and break security like privacy, password, etc. with the usage of internet. It also includes criminal activities performed by the use of computers like virus attacks, financial crimes, e-mail spamming, cyber phishing, cyber stalking, unauthorized access to computer system, theft of information contained in the electronic form, e-mail bombing, physically damaging the computer system, etc.
The internet brings joy to our lives but at the same time it has some negative sides too. Cyber criminals are always searching to find out new ways to attack the possible internet victims. New generation is growing up with computers and most importantly all the monetary transactions are going online. So, it has become very important for us to be aware of the various Cyber-crimes being committed through this medium. It is observed that the internet world is ever-evolving and fraudsters continuously use newer ways to commit frauds. Earlier when internet banking was started, we thought that user name and password was enough to enhance security but then additional security layers were developed, but that too is now proving futile. The vulnerability of credit and debit cards and net banking has made it easy for criminals who are just a click away from easy money. Thus there is a need of widespread customer awareness about risks and threats of providing confidential login information to strangers. With the right permissions, hackers have succeeded in changing daily ATM cash limits and create fraudulent credit cards with new PINs for third parties to access accounts.
It is rightly said that “Prevention is better than cure” so it is always better to take certain precautions while operating the internet by way of following good practices in order to minimize the security risk of increasing Cyber crimes in banks.
No doubt, it is not possible to eliminate Cyber Frauds in banks in total but it is quite possible to check them. Legislation cannot totally succeed in eliminating crime but we must be aware of our rights and duties i.e. to report the crime as a collective duty towards the society and making the application of laws more stringent to check cyber-crimes.
Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)