NortonLifeLock Inc. unveiled the results of its India Digital Wellness Report, an online survey of over 1,500 city-dwelling Indian adults exploring consumer awareness of security threats related to financial transactions and their resulting behaviour.
The report found that nearly 7 in 10 (68%) of responding consumers making financial transactions online are willing to save their personal bank details on the websites they trust, while more than 8 in 10 (83%) think financial fraud and data theft are the biggest threat to online banking.
According to the findings, convenience and time-saving are the top motivators for making online transactions, as consumers make the maximum online financial transactions for shopping (91%) closely followed by bill payments (88%). City-based millennials engage in more financial transactions online (98%) than any other generation surveyed, closely followed by Gen X (97%) and Gen Z (94%).
Consumers in tier 2 cities were found to be taking the most advantage of online transactions and they are ahead of consumers in metros and tier 1 cites when it comes to shopping, wallet transfers and booking tickets. While digital wallets are seeing an increase in uptake, only 69% of Indian respondents are engaging in wallet transfers.
While 83% of Indian respondents agree that fraud and data theft are the biggest threats to online banking, an alarming 80% of the respondents think online payments made on apps and websites are always safe. This is especially concerning for Gen X, as 88% are aware of the threats, but 86% still believe online payments made on apps and websites are always safe. Furthermore, 85% of the Gen X consumers are even willing to save personal bank details on the websites they trust, despite knowing their personal information collected from cookies and apps can be sold to data brokers.
Further, the report reveals that the respondent women are ahead of men when it comes to their awareness of data collection through cookies and the use of search results for marketing purposes. However, almost 60% of women transacting online don’t read the terms and conditions before accepting the policy guidelines of the apps and websites. This is more concerning since 85% of women prefer to prepay orders on shopping sites in order to claim discounts or waiver in shipping fees.
As the festive season is here and people are spending more time online to bargain hunt, it’s especially important to keep cyber safety top-of-mind. The internet is a handy tool for comparing products and services and potentially making the purchases to save both time and money, and to stay safer, NortonLifeLock recommends the following best practices to make your online shopping spree hassle-free:
- Use strong passwords: Don’t reuse your passwords across websites and apps. Make them complex and pick a random word that includes a combination of at least 10 letters, numbers, and symbols. Using a password manager to generate complex, unguessable passwords can also help.
- Keep your software updated: Cyber criminals frequently use known exploits, or flaws, in your software to gain access to your system. Patching those exploits and flaws can help make it less likely that you’ll become a cybercrime target.
- Ensure your session is secure: Make sure the shopping site URL begins with ‘https’, or that the browser bar contains the locked padlock symbol or is green. These signs mean that your information is encrypted and therefore harder for a hacker to access. If you’re using a mobile app for banking, be careful to only use legitimate official apps from the financial institution.
- Think Before You Click: Be on the lookout for phishing efforts and questionable offers. Don’t click on a dubious email or text message links or open attachments from an unknown source. They might take you to a site that asks you to reveal personal information, or that puts malware on your device. If you see an attractive offer on an item, ensure it is from a legitimate retailer.
- Beware of fake websites: Only use sites that you know and trust or have been recommended by people you know. Phony shopping sites can be hard to tell apart from the genuine ones, and even legitimate sites can be hijacked. Check the site address carefully for subtle differences, like minor errors in spelling or grammar.
- Use a full-service Internet security suite: Invest in a security suite that offers real-time protection against existing and emerging malware including ransomware and viruses to help protect your private and financial information when you go online.
- Take measures to help protect yourself against identity theft: Keyways to help prevent identity theft include using legitimate sites when shopping online, using a secure network, remaining on the lookout for devices attached to card readers or ATMs and keeping an eye on your credit card statements and credit reports. You should also take advantage of protection tools such as ID theft alerts and EMV chip debit/credit cards as an extra layer of protection.