One in every three Indian stores his/her personal financial data, such as passwords of ATM, debit or credit cards, bank account details and PAN or Aadhaar card details in mobile phone, email or personal computer, revealed a survey by community platform LocalCircles.
This puts them at high risk of data theft.
Out of the total 33%, 7% store personal details in their phone, while 15% store it in their email or computer, and the remaining 11% save it across mobile, email or computer.
Of the remaining, 39% rely on the old school paper format to store their sensitive information, while 21% said they have memorized all the details.
An even more concerning finding revealed that about 11% of the total 7,956 respondents said they store their ATM, bank account, email and other online account passwords in their mobile phone’s contact list.
Storing sensitive financial details on a phone’s contact list poses a significant risk of misuse, either by apps or hackers or even by contacts of the individual.
“This is a very unsafe way to store such credentials because most online apps these days ask for permission to access one’s contact and text messages. Though some apps have high levels of security and are trustworthy, the same can’t be said for the majority of other apps that are available on app stores. India’s cyber security researchers recently identified 167 counterfeit iOS and Android apps used by hackers to steal money from people,” said the report.
A sizeable 35% also reported that they share their ATM or debit card pin with close family members, friends or domestic and office staff.
Survey participants suggested that the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should frequently conduct awareness programs on steps common citizens can take to secure their personal data.
“Aimed to make digital payments using debit cards and credit cards more secure, new rules by RBI mandate that cardholders of both debit and credit set up transaction limits. It has also directed banks to allow people to register for preferences such as opt-in or opt-out of services, also on spending limits, and other services for online transactions, international transactions, and contactless transactions,” the report added.
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