While stay-at-home orders are being lifted by most governments, the new pandemic environment has forever transformed the world. Social distancing has altered human behavior and norms, and most dramatically our way of living and working. Our hyper-virtual lives have invited a new level cyber risk, especially with the surge of global fraud rates. It is, therefore, the responsibility of both financial service providers and users to build a safer digital banking environment and culture of digital risk safety.
PwC’s 2020 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey shows telling stats, with 47% of respondents reporting fraud in the last 24 months; and even more alarming, the months of January to June saw a 70% increases in attacks. PwC explains that increase in fraud has a direct correlation with times of crises and recessions, so it is no surprise we are seeing these numbers during the pandemic. What makes this more serious is that now our society has become dependent on digital ecosystems for everything, one of the most important being the access to digital banking. And unfortunately, PwC says this is one of the most targeted fraud areas.
Phishing: The Most Popular Form of Fraud
The PwC report focuses on one of the popular forms of fraud, "phishing," which is the targeted, fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data via email, phone, or text message. An example is a scam text with a link to a fake e-commerce site that lures users to share their banking information, only to scam them.
Doing Our Part
As mentioned, we all have the social responsibility to join forces with our providers and third-parties to create a digital financial safety net. Digital banking and other virtual financial solutions are essential to our new way of living, therefore, we need to do our part to ensure there is an intentional culture of digital risk safety, whether we are sending a payment to a friend or double checking our account information, it is how we carry out those tasks that either protects our digital life or make us a new victim of fraud; and every incident of fraud becomes an incentive for criminals to continue this harmful business.
Our partner, ESET, shared key measures they created to help us protect ourselves and others from cyberattacks, as it relates to digital financials services:
- Always access digital banking services from a reliable device (preferably your own) and never save passwords on your banking sites.
- Avoid opening links sent via email or messages, and downloading content and applications from third-party (non-official) sites.
- Refrain from sharing your personal information online, whether through email, telephone, instant messaging, and especially on social media outlets. Also, financial institutions should never request confidential information through these channels.
- Be suspicious of emails requesting account or card information, unless you have initiated a process authorizing the use of your data for the required purposes.
- When in doubt about the credibility of a call or message regarding sensitive matters, directly contact your financial institution and inform them about the details of the call.
The recommendations above offer practical steps to become a safer digital citizen. We must do our part to help our financial institutions and other partners to prioritize digital safety, so that we can all continue to have easy digital access to financial solutions. Together we can work to make digital banking more secure and reliable.
COBIS pledges to make security a priority. We empower our clients with the tools and skills to protect themselves and their customers. To learn more about our offerings, we invite you to visit our website: www.cobiscorp.com