A smartphone and some carefully chosen apps (properly used) can transform your life in many ways, like staying in touch with your near and dear ones all the time, ordering things from the comforts of your home and perform all your banking transactions, explained Dushyant Saraswat, Vice President of Paytm. He was speaking at a packed workshop “Learn how your Smartphone can make your life so much easier” organised by Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai.
But there are downsides to technology as well and Mr Saraswat explained this to audience. “Nowadays everyone owns a smartphone and the phone may contain a wealth of information of the user. This can be misused if the phone ends up in the wrong hands. With technology ever-changing, it is important for consumers to protect vital financial and personal information stored on their phones—either in their phonebook, messaging, email or social media applications. You should never store ATM passwords, net-banking account numbers, PINs or other passwords on your phone, he advised. To prevent unauthorized access to your personal accounts or applications, you should always make use of a screen lock password,” he said.
According to Mr Saraswat, who handles wallet marketing and Digital Content at Paytm, one should, be very careful about downloading unofficial or unauthorised apps on mobiles. Also, instead of just using an anti-virus, one should use a complete security suite that will protect you from frauds or data theft, he added.
Almost every app allows you to sign up with your Facebook or Google account. While this allows hassle-free signups, you also end up sharing personal contact information stored in those accounts. Therefore, to avoid third-party applications misusing your account data, you should not put your phone number and date of birth on Facebook or Google, he cautioned.
Often, one has to maintain several passwords to sign in to different accounts. Therefore, many end up creating passwords that can be hacked very easily. Most often people create passwords using family member names or different versions of their date of birth. As these are commonly used, it is the easiest for hackers to crack. Therefore, one should always use a combination of text in upper case and lower case combination, numbers and special characters in between to create a safe password.
However, he said, creating a secure password is of no use if you share it with someone. There are several phishing scams where the caller pretends to be calling from the bank and asks for your account details and passwords. Banks will never do this. One should never share their passwords or PIN to anyone via text message or other messaging apps. One may receive emails, which appear to come from your bank asking you to signup or login to internet banking. Or emails announcing you won a lottery. You should always avoid clicking on such links, he said.
There are several applications available for download through non-official sources. One should only download applications from official sources such as Google Play Store (or iTunes). Mr Saraswat also recommended that one should install complete security applications and not just anti-virus apps. Complete security apps come with several additional features like anti-theft, anti-phishing, and internet security.