Ashish Sharma, a businessman on his way for shopping with his family, stopped at an ATM and gave his card to his son for withdrawing cash; his son Rahul came back in a few minutes, worried. “Papa, it shows insufficient balance, what to do? Then Ashish looked at the ATM card, “Oh God, I brought the wrong card.” He thought for a while: going back 10 km home is not wise, what to do? Suddenly, something struck him; his business bag was in the back seat, he took out his laptop and the data card, opened his Online banking account of the State Bank of India, transferred funds to the account for which he had the ATM card, and logged out. He now told his son once to go to the ATM again and in a few minutes money was in hand.

Banking has changed a lot in the last decade from the traditional to technology banking, changing our lifestyles. Technology has taken over manual intervention and freed bankers to explore new avenues.

In technology banking, Internet banking plays a major role in providing services offered by banks. It gives a platform for customers to perform transactions without going to a branch. The transactions include transfer of funds to one's own accounts, to a third party account of the same bank or to any bank in India. Banking has become as easy as chewing chocolate — unwrap the cover and feel the sweetness through technology initiatives.

However, there are many precautions you should take in internet banking:

a) After opening the internet banking site, watch the address bar it should be “https:\\,” not “http:\\” “s” stands for security and means site is secured.

b) It should carry the logo of “VeriSign” in any corner of the site; it is an international security certification for the site.

c) There should be a symbol of “lock” at the bottom taskbar.

d) Never share your USER ID or PASSWORD with anyone; always change password every fortnight.

e) Register your mobile on your internet banking site, which will give you alert sms and passwords on fund transfers.

f) Never operate your online banking account in an internet parlour.

g) Never respond to emails/sms which ask for your account profile and other details, which is termed “phishing.” Banks never ask for the same.

Underline the above seven points which are the golden rule in your mind and explore the wonderful world of internet banking.

Nowadays, many are getting duped by crooks using technology. See how:

Anand recently passed out of an engineering college. He did not get a campus selection but a newspaper ad for a post of trainee engineer in a firm which was not heard of before attracted him for the salary package and perks. He applied and was called for interview, and everything went off well. But one demand by the firm was rather strange: to open a bank account and transfer to it some funds over which he will not have any claim, and the firm will withdraw money.

Anand thought the company offered a handsome salary, so let it do what it wanted, and he opened an account in a nationalised bank and parted with the account details and a few signed cheque leaves. Everything went fine for a few months. But one day, some government authorities called him and asked for details of his transactions through the account. He was booked for fraudulent transactions, of which he was not aware. All the funds transacted through his account were for terrorist activities. That is not the end.

Akash got an email which thrilled him — it said that he had won “$500000 through a lucky draw.” He should intimate his account number and personal profile to transfer the funds.” Akash immediately gave out the details, and the next day he got a call, in the accent of a foreigner, asking him to come to a hotel in Delhi with Rs.50,000 for initial paper proceedings to transfer funds. He rushed to the star hotel in Delhi, where his room was already booked. Some people met him there, took Rs.50,000 and got some papers signed by him. They promised to meet him the next day with details of funds transfer. Two days passed, nobody turned up, and he called them up several times but the phone was switched off. To his shock, Akash realised that he had been duped.

(The writer belongs to SBI, Information Technology Department, Bhopal. His email is: devdutt9@gmail.com)

More In: Open Page | Opinion