One wrong click could wipe out your savings

KUALA LUMPUR: Thanks to smartphones, we have the entire world at our feet, but one wrong click could be enough to put your data and life savings at risk.

Of late, some individuals have reportedly suffered losses from cyber-crime frauds. The issue has undoubtedly triggered concerns among the public, especially on the cyber security risk level of the nation’s financial institutions.

Without a doubt, the spate of cyber crime cases has caused some members of the public to lose faith in banks as the custodian of public money as they felt that their deposits are no longer safe in the bank. Of concern are reports that banks are not taking responsibility for the crimes which are committed before “their very eyes.”

In light of these developments, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has recently instructed financial institutions to implement five measures to further strengthen safeguards against financial scams.

Among others, banks are required to migrate from SMS One Time Passwords (OTP) to more secure forms of authentication; tighten fraud detection rules and triggers for blocking suspected scam transactions; and customers will be restricted to one mobile or secure device for the authentication of online banking transactions.

Meanwhile, the banking industry has also launched the National Scam Awareness Campaign to help members of the public remember three simple steps, also known as the 3-second rule, that is, ‘Stop, Think, Block (‘Awas, Fikir, Blok’).

Data intrusion

However, albeit the various initiatives undertaken by the relevant authorities, experts said the financial fraud will continue to rear its ugly head as long as users lack the technological knowledge and are letting their guard down.

A senior lecturer at the School of Economics, Finance and Banking, Universiti Utara Malaysia Dr Juhaida Abu Bakar told Bernama, ‘phishing’ is commonly used by cyber criminals to ‘fish’ for users’ data from their smartphone.

She said through phishing, bank customers are trapped by the various links via e-mails, SMS and also mobile apps that are sent by irresponsible parties including scammers or hackers to their smartphone.

She said phone users are also exposed to mobile spyware, a…