One in three Indians stores confidential info digitally: Survey

One in three Indians stores confidential info digitally: Survey

One in three Indians stores confidential info digitally: Survey

One in almost every three Indians stores confidential personal information like debit or credit card details, ATM Pin and Aadhaar number in their mobile phones or computer or email, a survey has highlighted at a time data breach concerns are rising owing to low data protection awareness.

The survey by LocalCircles has also shown that around 33 per cent share their ATM or Debit Card pin with close family members or staff, 29 per cent with close family members and 4 per cent with their domestic and office staff.

Experts point out that one of the most common ways for hackers to commit cybercrime is by phishing an individual’s email account, text messages on mobile, to access their personal financial details but people continue to rely on storing their sensitive personal financial details, banking passwords and information of their debit and credit cards, on their smartphone, email, or computer.

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According to the survey, 33 per cent of those who responded to the survey said that they store details of their bank accounts and debit or credit cards, ATM passwords, Aadhaar and PAN numbers on mobile, computer or email. They felt that generating a strong password was easy but it is difficult to keep track of them all between multiple bank accounts, websites and Apps demanding their unique log-in criteria.

Giving the break-up to the question on how they generally store personal financial details, 7 per cent answered the phone while 15 per cent said in email or computer and another 11 per cent said in the phone, email, or computer. Another 21 per cent said they have memorised them all while 39 per cent said they have kept it in a paper format with them.

Asked whether the respondents shared the PIN details of ATM cards, 29 per cent said they had given this access to “one or more members of the close family” while 4 per cent to “one or more domestic or office staff” and 2 per cent have given it to “one or more friends”. The majority of 65 per cent of respondents said no one other than they have access to their ATM or debit card details.

The survey also threw out more trends that could be termed dangerous when it comes to storing personal data 11 per cent said they stored their ATM, bank account, email, and other online account passwords in their mobile phone contact list.

“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 cannot be said for the majority of other apps that are available on app stores,” the survey said, warning that cybersecurity researchers recently identified 167 counterfeit iOS and Android apps used by hackers to steal money from people.

“There is an urgent need for RBI and Banks to make concerted efforts in the direction of digital financial literacy…From time to time the government along with the RBI, should organise awareness programs on how to secure personal data and the dos and don’ts,” the survey said.

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