Digital payment methods – once an option, now a need

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We are currently witnessing many digital transaction options offered by various banks and new platforms that support digitalization in line with the goals of Oman Vision 2040.

With the aspiration to have a digital footprint in the Arab world, Muscat is awarded the title of Arab Digital Capital for 2022, and in line with Oman Vision 2040 – the slogan “A digital future that creates opportunities”, the future will never that encourage everyone to use banking channels that allow financial transactions from anywhere and at any time.

When moving from traditional banking to digital banking, SECURITY is the most important thing when conducting online transactions and daily cashless transactions. Digital services such as online bill payment, funds transfer using a mobile wallet, mobile recharges, etc. enabled easy financial activities.

Here are some tips that can help you protect your information while taking advantage of online financing/banking:

  • Regularly update anti-virus/anti-malware software and applications.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, which are rich targets for cyber thieves.
  • Turn off devices when not in use.
  • Change passwords regularly, choose strong passwords, and have separate passwords for different frequently visited sites.
  • Try to recognize and avoid phishing scams and other malware intrusions.
  • Install two-factor authentication tokens, biometric solutions (eg fingerprint, facial recognition and iris scanning software) and other data encryption software in electronic devices.
  • Back up the files to an external drive to restore them safely, in case the event arises.
  • Only interact with verified social media pages and use official mobile apps linked from an official website.
  • Make sure you are dealing with a legitimate banking organization. Read the ‘about us’ section to familiarize yourself with the institution.
  • Read the privacy policies to find out exactly who has access to your personal information.
  • Look for the FDIC symbol. All legitimate banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
  • Secure your computer and access to it.
  • Look for the secure padlock at the bottom right of your browser to ensure your information is encrypted.
  • Do not email account details or PINs.
  • Reject any email asking for your financial information, especially account, PIN, and social security numbers. Legitimate financial institutions will never ask you for this information by email or phone.
  • Beware of copied websites. Thieves may be adept at copying names, URLs, and web pages of legitimate institutions.
  • Be sure to log out of your accounts whenever you leave them, especially when using public computers.
  • Cancel any credit card that has been used fraudulently.
  • Ignore the “remember my password” options on shopping and banking websites.
  • Never share a PIN or confidential information over the phone or over the Internet. Never share these details with anyone.
  • Do not click on links embedded in emails/social media sites claiming to be from banking or financial institutions.
  • Do not transfer funds without recipient validation, as funds once transferred cannot be reversed.
  • Do not store sensitive information such as credit card details, mobile banking password and user ID in a separate folder on your phone.
  • Remember to notify the bank of mobile number changes to ensure SMS notifications are not sent to anyone else.
  • Be careful when accepting offers such as call or dial melodies or opening/downloading emails or attachments from known or unknown sources.

As a responsible cyber citizen, it is important to practice basic prevention/precautions/cyber hygiene measures.

Safe and cashless banking to you!

– Payal Sampat Dutia, cybersecurity professional

(The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Muscat Daily or Apex Press & Publishing)

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