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Going cashless? Watch out for these risks

By Tripti Rai
December 17, 2016 08:00 IST
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Now that you have already downloaded mobile wallets and all set to go cashless/digital with your payments to the local grocer, cabbie, maid, etc, here's what you must watch out for, says Tripti Rai.

Let's take a look at four such security issues that are beyond your control, and so you hope that they just don't happen to you.

ATM using outdated systems

Banks today are the least secure institutions. They use Windows XP system in their ATMs that does not give security patches, making it easy for tech-savvy frauds to take out money and/or account information easily.

No data privacy law

For a country that has been aiming to become cashless, digital economy, there is no data privacy law prevalent in India. With our Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi, saying that privacy is not a right, the law to be made functional, seems to be a distant agenda.

Almost all the banking apps run on Android mode

According to Qualcomm Senior Director Product Management, Sy Choudhury, most of the banking or wallet apps around the nation do not use hardware security. They run entirely on Android mode making users' passwords prone to theft.

And this is the case with almost all digital wallets and mobile banking apps.

Private information has many other ways to get leaked

Even if you ignore these sophisticated skilled attacks, there are ways even a plain IT graduate can breach your security. They can create fake mobile apps with spyware that steal information and also can use other social engineering strategies that would make the users reveal their identity. And login credentials.

While these are just some of the security issues with going cashless, it is also true that the moment government will solve one, three more would come up.

To sum up, Indians need to be made technologically sound and banking literate, while putting a much stronger and disciplined cybercrime law in place.

Photograph: Matt Siegel/Reuters

Tripti Rai, presently associated with ChromeInfotech Technologies, a leading mobile app development company, has been writing on both technical and non-technical aspects of the world for the last three years

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