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How to protect personal data Printable version

Last update: 30.09.2022

Personal dataPersonal data leaks, unfortunately, happen on a regular basis. Personal data attracts fraudsters who constantly come up with new ways to use it to get profit. From this material, you will learn how to secure information about yourself and not become a victim of scammers.

If a leak has occurred

In fact, the data about you that, most likely, can be freely found on the worldwide network is not enough to seriously harm you and your wallet. But they help those scammers who use social engineering techniques to mislead you and try to get you to provide them with the missing pieces.

Many people know that fraudsters pose as bank employees in order to find out the details of accounts and bank cards. In this they are just helped by the information that is on the network. After all, when they call you by name, patronymic, know the date of birth or even the number of the identity card, this inadvertently contributes to increasing the confidence in the caller.

Let us remind you once again that bank employees never call first, so it is better to stop such dialogues right away.

But scammers can use other techniques as well. If the attacker knows at least your card number and e-mail, he can send a message from the category “Your card number _____ has been credited. Follow the link and enter the code from the SMS to receive it. "Needless to say, in this case, you will simply open access to your money.

The legends of scammers are very different. But one thing is constant: without your "help" no fraudster will be able to get to your account. According to statistics, more than 95% of all frauds with bank cards occur when users independently disclose missing information to attackers: SMS codes, CVV codes and expiration dates, passwords from their personal account. Thus, people lose their savings because of their own gullibility, and not because their accounts were hacked by hackers.

When clients themselves give out classified information to fraudsters or, according to their instructions, transfer money to other people's accounts, banks do not compensate for the losses.

How personal data ends up online

Sometimes cybercriminals manage to get your data by hacking, for example, the trading companies, service centers, even hotels and carriers. Their resources are much less protected than bank ones. In addition, even by hacking an account on social networks or e-mail, you can learn a lot, both about a person and about his acquaintances.

Some consumers enter their data, phone numbers and card details on the pages of fake contests, lotteries and surveys, or on twin sites of real financial organizations, stores and other companies.

Fraudsters can use software to forge documents and various notifications. If your information somehow fell into hands of cybercriminals, they can make a fake letter, for example, from the tax and prosecutor's office, send it to you by e-mail or via instant messengers, after which the fraudster will personally call, threaten, blackmail and offer "amicably". For example, you will need to transfer a certain amount to an electronic wallet, after which the progress of the case will allegedly not be given.

Note that bribery is a criminal offense. Therefore, it is by no means possible to solve problems with its help. In addition, most likely, transferring to scammers will not help you get rid of the real fine, if any. Sometimes a scammer just finds out about your debt, lures money out of you, and then disappears. At the same time, the fine or debt will not go anywhere. 

Security rules for the protection of personal data

It is unlikely that you will be able to protect your data 100%, but you can still reduce the likelihood of a successful attack. To do this, you must follow a number of simple rules:

  • Do not write the PIN-code on the card and do not share it with others, do not enter it anywhere except ATMs and POS-terminals;
  • Do not tell anyone the full details of your card and do not post its photos on the network or messengers. If someone wants to transfer money to you, he only needs a card number or just a phone number;
  • Never voice or send your personal data to strangers, including copies of identity documents;
  • Do not publish your personal and banking data on the Internet, do not lose sight of your card when making payments in a cafe/restaurant;
  • Refrain from participating in questionable online contests and lotteries that require you to provide personal information;
  • If you are going to make an online purchase, make sure that the site really belongs to the online store and carefully check the spelling of the site in the address bar, it should start with HTTPS and the symbol of a closed lock;
  • Get a separate card intended only for online purchases;
  • Connect the SMS/Push notifications service to quickly receive transaction data on your cards;
  • Carefully read the contents of SMS/Push messages, if you received a message about an operation that you did not perform - do not enter the password and call the bank;
  • Never enter a password to cancel or cancel transactions such requests are generated only by scammers;
  • Ask the bank and, if possible, ask to enable the 3D-Secure (VISA) or SecureCode (MasterCard) function for your payment card. Use complex passwords for your email and personal accounts on websites. Passwords like 12345 or Password will not protect you. Passwords must be different, more than 10 characters, with upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Try to make the password meaningful to you and easy to remember. Keep it secret;
  • If you entered the card details on a dubious site or reported them by mistake to scammers, then call the bank to immediately block the card;
  • Refrain from installing questionable programs on your electronic devices. Do not use public (open) wi-fi networks to access personal Internet banking;
  • Use licensed anti-virus software on devices from which you connect Internet banking services.

And remember that vigilance is the best defense against fraudsters!


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