Paper money is becoming a passe as the year comes to an end. The New Year brings in the promise of India going cashless with the population of 1.3 billion being pushed into a digital economy. Today many users are being exposed to plastic money for the first time. Even the most-learned people make mistakes in the digital world that can prove very costly. Hence for first-time users, it is a minefield out there where negotiating needs a lot of tact.
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Earlier this year, 3.2 million credit and debit card details with a bulk of them from India’s largest banker–the State Bank of India–allegedly got compromised and till date the investigating agencies have not been able to make much headway. In a country where about 287 million adults according to UN figures are still illiterate, how safe is it to indulge in cashless transactions? Some say dacoits and robbers in the digital world are more ruthless than the notorious dacoits that once ruled the roost in the ravines of river Chambal.
Many have been defrauded, a report says that in a single month in 2015, cyber criminals targeted over 100 banks globally and made off with one billion dollars. The underbelly of the digital world is very dirty since even the most heavily-secured computers of the American defence establishment at Pentagon have been compromised in the past and sensitive data stolen. So how well is India prepared to handle the security of its digital assets and what should you and I do — make a fortress around the electronic wallets and payment gateways.
There are no easy solutions and the entire burden is now shifted on individual users to safeguard their money saved in zeros and ones of computer codes. With almost no training or a deeper understanding, citizens are being asked to embrace Internet banking and mobile app-based financial transactions.