In today’s digital world, most of the products we use in our daily life are connected to the internet. Apart from the basic benefits, smart products vary in their purpose, configurations, features, and their ability to assist humans.  For instance, smartwatches assist us in organising our daily activities and sync with Twitter, WeChat, Facebook and many such applications; smart TVs serve us with play stores, YouTube, Hotstar and also control smart home devices, etc; smart bands track our daily activities such as  steps, calories burned, heart rate, distance, and time period of our activities; and smartphones support us with banking, online shopping, digital payments, and numerous other applications.

This kind of automation technology may give us comfort, make our work more efficient and save our time but they put our safety and security at risk. Whenever we use these products, we unknowingly and sometimes knowingly share, save or use our personal data such as our name, phone number, date of birth, family details, GPS locations, travel details, bank accounts, customer IDs, PINs, passwords, account balances, favorite products to shop and more. This leads the hackers to get plenty of information about us and use the same information against our wish. There are different kinds of hackers in the world wide web viz. Black Hat, Gray Hat, Green Hat, etc.that find different ways to steal the information, interrupt the system, track and compromise the security systems of the gadgets.

There are several applications which can control one computer/phone from another system from anywhere in the world. Recently, Cyber Security and IT Examination Cell, Government of India, had issued an alert about growing fraudulent transactions via Unified Payment Interface platform. According to the government’s alert, there is now a new method of accessing mobile device which can perform banking transactions through the application/app called ‘ANYDESK’, which can be downloaded from the Play Store or the App Store. The victim’s system can be accessed by sharing a nine-digit number that pops up when signing up for the App. After sharing the nine-digit number, the victim will be asked to give permission to access certain features which may seem similar to the requirements of other applications. Subsequently, the App can perform banking transactions through the ANYDESK app using the victim’s mobile phone.

There is also a Trojan virus that can attack android’s banking apps named as ‘Android Banker A-9480’ as per Quick Heal Report. According to the Quick Heal Report, this virus steals the login ID, password from the victims’ gadgets to perform the unauthorised banking transactions. It says that it might affect around 232 banking apps including HDFC mobile banking lite, Axis Mobile, Indian Bank mobile banking, IDBI Gomobile, IDBI Gomobileplus, and SBI Anywhere Personal. These kinds of virus are being hidden in pornographic applications and attack the android gadgets when downloaded.

Here are some good practices to make gadgets and our data safe and secure:

  • Do not allow unwanted notifications while accessing apps;

  • Do not save the card details viz. card no., CVV pin no., validity date, etc., while doing online financial transactions;  

  • Do not save login ID/Customer ID, password details while doing online banking;

  • Do not share your details in the “Pop-Up” or download any other apps while using the actual applications like Instagram, Facebook, Flipkart, etc., and fall into the trap of lucky draw, contest, bumper prices, etc.;

  • Before downloading apps, read the functionality usually given below the icon in the app/play store;

  • Do not download and use all the apps for convenience/fun. Download only the most needed ones;

  • Do not disclose your personal details while accessing applications and social networks; and

  • Do not save your personal details, passwords, pins, etc in any digital gadgets.

Apart from this, we have to make sure to verify the apps like checking reviews, visiting the official website of the apps before the download, disabling advertisements in the system settings and not using public WiFi, which may prevent our smart products and its data from being hacked.