Wednesday, 1 October 2014

India Favours Setting Up Of Portal With US To Check Webcrime

New Delhi: India has suggested setting up of a portal jointly with the US to check cybercrime such as hacking and misuse of social media platforms.
The proposal came during a two-day conference of police chiefs of India and the US held here recently and top American police officers responded positively to it.
Indian police officers have focused on the requirements of cybercrime investigations and many issues and challenges faced by police forces in getting the required information, particularly from those having servers in the US.
"We have suggested setting up of cooperation portal on cybercrime where requests can be logged and tracked," one of the police chiefs, who participated in the conference, said.
The US police officers said they too have been facing similar challenges and hoped that such a portal would be helpful for law enforcement agencies of both the countries.
There have been several instances in the past when Indian security agencies faced difficulties in tracking down perpetrators of cybercrime.
Most of the prominent service providers like Hotmail, Google, Facebook, Twitter are based in the US and a general request takes anywhere between 15 and 80 days.
Further there is no guarantee that the required information would be provided at all.
Besides, the Indian team also highlighted that in certain cases, some of the service providers did not even remove hate speeches that were considered illegal content in India.
In many instances, hate speech on various social media sites have resulted in communal violence in the country. Even in such important matters, the service providers have refused to remove content from their servers, Indian police officers said.
The two-day meet was inaugurated by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and attended by US Assistant Secretary for Policy (Homeland Security) David Heyman and US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, among others.
In the agenda papers of the conference, it was stated that India, which ranks fifth in the world in the number of cyber crime, has seen hacking of 9,000 websites in three years and thus, posing a serious threat to the government.
Cyber criminals are now moving beyond computers and attacking mobile hand-held devices such as smart phones and tablets, it said.
Both sides also deliberated on social chatting sites including WhatsApp, BBM and We Chat besides Internet-based video sites and how to stop their misuse.
The availability of their web servers in India is required for lawful interception of the communications in real time or near real time manner for timely action by the security and intelligence agencies, the Indian team has suggested.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS Identity Shield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy: Zee News

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fighting Credit Card Fraud

Regulatory policy wonks in India are engaged in intense combat — this time, over whether the Reserve Bank of India has gone overboard with seeking to secure online and offline credit card payments. The RBI has made it mandatory to validate offline credit card payments in India with a 'PIN' (personal identification number) and online Indian payments with an 'OTP' (one-time password) to be generated by SMS on the mobile phone.
Thanks to these measures, India has one of the most secure credit card and online payment systems in the world. Some have attacked the security measures as being retrograde. The main charge is that the two-stage validation process wastes time. The argument is that the benefits gained from the security measure do not out-weigh the cost of the additional time spent. Moreover, since the RBI does not regulate foreign payment gateways, it has exempted them from the security requirement — so, payments made even from India, through foreign payment gateways, do not have to comply with this security measure.
What this means for the consumer is that purchase of a book on would not require an OTP while purchase of the same book on would require it. Both sites enable storing your credit card information (if you are willing to trust their servers with your data). On, you need to enter your CVV/CSC number ("card verification value" or "card security code") — a number physically pre-printed on your card. Once your transaction is authenticated, you also have to get your OTP by sending a text message to your credit card issuer. An OTP gets sent to your phone within seconds of the SMS request and is valid for a single use, to be made within 30 minutes.
On, since the security feature is not mandatory, if your credit card data is stored on its server, you can complete your purchase with a single click (popularly branded as "1-Click Ordering"). Therefore, does it take longer to shop on an Indian site? Yes. Is that an unbearable time burden? No. And, does it make India a more secure place for electronic payments? Indeed.
According to The Nilson Report, a payments industry trade journal, the United States, accounts for nearly 47 per cent of the global credit card fraud even while contributing to just 23 per cent of the volume of global credit card payments. On the other hand, media reports quote Visa International as stating that India has the lowest online card fraud incidence. Yet, the size of credit card frauds is growing worldwide, and does pose a threat to confidence in the electronic payments system.
As India brings more of her people into the banking and electronic payment system, the scope for fraud too would increase. There is also the culture of general laxity with security that needs to be contended with. For example, after the RBI introduced the mandatory requirement to enter your PIN into the card reader in the store to effect an offline credit card payment, many restaurants did not deploy wireless card readers. Waiters would simply ask the guest for the PIN and many, lazy to get up from their tables, would gladly oblige. This is pretty much how most passwords are compromised — simply by asking.
Against this backdrop, the benefit of better security in online and offline credit card payments can outweigh the cost of spending a few more seconds getting an OTP on sms, or entering the PIN into a card reader. In a nation that has poor banking penetration and a propensity to stack currency notes under the mattress for safe-keeping, one blaring slanging match in a prime-time television debate can be enough to destroy confidence in the banking system.
On the other hand, India, home to 16 per cent of the global population, would do well to innovate and lead the change in how payments are made secure worldwide. After all, one should remember that even while shares of Chinese online retailer got a fancy valuation for listing shares in the United States, Indian online retail companies such as Flipkart and Snapdeal snapped up spectacular valuations and attracted serious investments despite the payment security measures.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.
Courtesy: Pune Mirror

Monday, 29 September 2014

Importance Of Your Credit Score If You Are Looking For A Home Loan

Most of us aspire for a home of our own and the real estate market boom is a reflection of these collective aspirations. Increasing real estate developments and availability of easy and fast home loans has enabled fulfillment of these aspirations for the common man. A critical factor that can ensure easier and hassle-free access to home loans is keeping a watchful eye on your Credit Information Bureau India Ltd (CIBIL) Report and CIBIL TransUnion Score.
Apart from your income, this factor is an important tool in evaluating your eligibility for a home loan. Therefore, do check your credit score before applying for a home loan to avoid any delay.
Understanding your CIBIL Report will help you assess your own credit exposure and enable you to see yourself as loan providers do. If your CIBIL TransUnion Score is low or if the CIBIL Report shows defaults and delayed payments you can always take corrective actions and improve the score before applying for the home loan.
Your CIBIL TransUnion Score is simply a numeric indicator of your credit history which reflects your financial and credit health. CIBIL calculates the credit score through advanced analytics and assigns a number between 300 and 900 to a borrower, based on his/her credit history.
The closer your score is to 900, the more confidence the credit institution will have in your ability to repay the loan and hence, the better the chances of your application getting approved. While each bank will have its own credit scoring cut-off based on the credit sanctioning policies, it has been observed that most banks are lending to consumers with a credit score of 750 and above.
If you have a good CIBIL TransUnion Score and healthy credit history you may get to avail a home loan without any hassles. However, if your credit score is low due to poor credit history you can always work towards improving it. Financial discipline coupled with regular repayment of loan and credit card EMIs will help improve your credit history and score significantly.
Here are a few tips to improve your credit score: 
Avoid late payments or defaults as far as possible: Your payment history has a significant impact on your CIBIL TransUnion score. Late payments are negatively viewed by lenders because this indicates that you are having trouble servicing your existing obligations
Wise use of credit card: While increased spending on your credit cards may not necessarily negatively affect your CIBIL TransUnion score, an increase in the current balance on the card over time is an indication of an increased repayment burden and may negatively impact your Score. Its always prudent to use your credit card wisely
Maintain a healthy mix of credit: A higher concentration of home loans or auto loans (commonly known as Secured Loans) is likely to be more favorable for your credit score than a large number of unsecured loans. Although unsecured loans offer easy access to finance, its also by far the most expensive form of credit. More the number of unsecured loans with high utilization, larger are the payments resulting from its high rate of interest
Avoid behaving Credit Hungry: If you have made many applications for loans, or have recently been sanctioned new credit facilities, a lender is likely to view your application with caution. This Credit Hungry behaviour indicates your debt burden is likely to, or has increased and hence may be less able to service additional debt obligations
Monitor your co-signed, joint accounts monthly
Monitor the loan accounts for which you have stood as a guarantor
Review your CIBIL TransUnion Score and credit history frequently
Your CIBIL Report and CIBIL TransUnion Score not only determines whether or not you qualify for the home loan, but it may also has an impact on the terms and conditions you can avail on the loan. The higher the score, the better will be your chances of availing the loan faster and on favorable terms.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

Courtesy: Indian Infoline 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

India Under E-attack

Growing internet penetration and rising popularity of online banking have made India a favourite among cybercriminals, who target online financial transactions using malware, security solutions pro-vider Trend Micro said.
According to the firm, India ranks third after Japan and the US in the tally of countries most affected by online banking malware during the April-June quarter of 2014.
Japan topped the list with the highest number of online banking malware infections this quarter due to VAWTRAK. In May alone, it saw 13,000 malware infections. The US saw about 5,000 malware infections during the month, followed by India at 3,000 attacks.
“India posed for cybercriminal expansion with an average of 2.5 million malware detection in a given month. Also, 33 per cent more malicious apps were downloaded and network traffic from affected computers continued to rise," Trend-Labs director Myla V Pilao said.
TrendLabs is Trend Micro’s research and development centre.
These and many such incidents show that cyber criminals will al-ways adapt to new trends and situations whether in the use of new malware or targeted attack techniques to continue their strikes, she added. She said the severity of attacks has intensified against fina-ncial and banking institutions as well as retail outlets globally.
“Total attacks have exposed more than 10 million personal records as of July 2014 and that strongly indicates that organisations need to adopt a more strategic approach to safeguarding digital information,” she said.
Such incidents often lead to stealing of consumer’s personal information like customer names, passwords, ema-il addresses, home addr-esses, phone numbers, and date of birth.
These types of personal privacy breaches ha-ve affected organisation’s sales and earnings, while leaving customers unable to access accounts and dealing with service disruption, Ms Pilao said.
“The pace of change in technology sector has never been as rapid as it is now, and as a result we see firms struggling to keep up with the latest developments,” she said.
Ms Pilao added that it is essential that Indian businesses treat information security as a principal constituent of business strategy as time and again it has emerged as one of the top countries witnessing cybercrime.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtcsy: Asia Age    

Friday, 26 September 2014

Clear Loan Outstanding Before Seeking Further Credit

Consider a situation where a borrower has taken a loan few years ago and has been paying the equated monthly instalments (EMIs) regularly, until a few months ago. Because of certain unforeseen circumstances, he was not able to pay these instalments for the past 6 to 8 months. Owing to this lapse in payment, his Cibil credit information report (CIR) shows payment default for those months.
What recourse does the borrower have in this case? Will he be denied credit facility by all the banks? How can he improve his credit report and credit score to be eligible for accessing credit again?
Almost all credit grantors assess Cibil CIR and credit score along with other factors like the applicant’s income before deciding on credit applications. In the cited scenario, the borrower’s CIR will show the defaults for those 6 to 8 months where the borrower has defaulted on the payments. This may also negatively impact his credit score.
Cibil started providing credit reports and scores directly to consumers with a motive to increase transparency of the credit lending process, which earlier was a mystery for most consumers. By accessing and knowing their credit report and credit score consumers are now able to “see themselves as lenders do”. This empowers them to determine their credit liabilities, identify areas that require improvement and ensure that they build reputational collateral with the lender for availing credit when they need it.
In a situation like this it is advisable that the borrower should not apply for any further credit facilities until his present outstanding gets cleared. Credit report and credit scores are dynamic and change according the credit behaviour of the borrower. Once the borrower has paid all the delinquent EMIs and has again started regularly paying the instalments on the loan his credit report will improve and reflect the regular payments accordingly. The credit score may also improve gradually. Here are some tips for the borrower for improving his credit history and score:
Approach your lender and explain to them your situation. They may provide you with easier repayment options or a solution to your problem.
Pay all your outstanding dues and EMIs that went delinquent. Offer to pay any penalties charged on late payments.
Start paying all your future EMIs regularly by the due date.
Review your credit history frequently to check the updated status of payment on your report.
And most importantly, do not apply for anymore loans or credit cards till your report improves. If you have made applications for loans, this will reflect in the “Enquiry” section of your CIR and will show that you are “credit hungry”.
Institutionalised and regulated credit facilities provide us opportunities for fulfilling our financial development aspirations. It is imperative to respect these opportunities and maintain financial discipline in order to ensure that you have access to finance when you actually need it.
Even if you have been delinquent in the past on your credit accounts, you can always start by paying off your dues and gradually work towards building a good credit record again. The institutionalised credit system always gives scope for improvement.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy 

Courtesy; DNA

Schoolchildren To Be Coached On Cyber Risks

BANGALORE: Schoolchildren in the state will get to learn about cyber risks and threats as virtual security firm McAfee and its parent company Intel launched the Education Digital Wellness curriculum here recently.
The Intel Education Digital Wellness curriculum programme is designed to help children identify and assess dangers on the internet to protect themselves from cyber-bullying, identity theft, malware and so on, said Anand Prahlad, managing director of McAfee India.
He said that according to a recent report, India has 243 million internet users. Even third graders are using tablets and 12-year-old kids are exposed to nasty comments on the internet. “India ranks third in cyber-bullying among 25 countries. Our attempt is to make sure children are made aware of the risks in internet usage,” Prahlad said.
By March 2015, McAfee aims to take this curriculum free-of-cost to one lakh children in Karnataka and Haryana, the only two states where it will be introduced. “We have received support from UNESCO and the Educational Quality Foundation of India, which will help us identify the schools where the curriculum will be introduced,” he said.
The curriculum consists of four modules — cyber wellness, threats to cyber wellness, safety for social media and the road ahead. The curriculum will make its way into both government schools (for Classes 8-12) and private schools (Classes 5-12) that have access to internet and infrastructure, Prahlad said.
According to McAfee Tween & Technology Report 2013, tweens (kids aged 8-12) are online for approximately 2 hours a day, and 45 per cent of them said they are online after 8 pm. The internet is used by 76 per cent tweens from 5 pm to 9 pm.
Of those surveyed, 58 per cent were found to have risky (low-level) security passwords while 41 per cent said they share information about themselves over Facebook. Thirty-six per cent of tweens have spoken to someone online that they did not previously know.

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS IdentityShield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy New Indian Express

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Follow These Simple Rules To Create Wealth

To create wealth, investors should keep in mind some basic rules that are simple to follow. Here are some of the most important ones from select financial planners, an investment analyst and a top professional in the credit information industry: Save, invest and understand where & why you are investing: We understand that we need to invest but very few understand that we can invest only if we first save. It's important to know how much you earn and spend to arrive at what you can save. It's also important to understand the risks associated with equities, fixed income, commodities, gold, international funds, real estate, etc, and also the resultant return expectations. Also, understand why you are investing. -Shalini Dhawan (SD) 
Systematize investing: Being busy individuals, the last things on our minds are handling paperwork, cheques, banking errands, etc. Hence, there is a need to systematize: Automate investments to selected avenues on monthly, quarterly, yearly basis by using technology, available systematic investment plans (SIPs), triggers, alerts, ECS, etc. -SD 
Diversify: Diversification across asset classes and within each asset class can eliminate risks emanating from concentration, liquidity, credit, interest rate and currency . This will reduce the overall risk to the portfolio. However, diversification beyond the optimum level does not reduce the risk to the portfolio. -B V R Venkatesh (BVR) 
Safety has a price: If you are one of those risk-averse investors, chances are that your savings would be locked into various fixed and recurring deposits.However, over the last few years, you must have got negative real returns. That is, your returns were less than the rate of inflation. In other words, the interest income from deposits has not helped you keep pace with rising costs of goods.That also amounts to erosion of capital -you have lost it through inflation. So, remember to build an inflation-beating corpus through investment sacrossasset classes including equities, debt, gold and real estate. — Vidya Bala (VB) 
Consistency & discipline pay: Emotions interfere with investing — sometimes they work for us and sometimes against us. So, be disciplined to invest a certain amount every month and systematize it. There are many examples of SIPs in diversified equity mutual fund schemes generating sizable corpuses, where investors have consistently run SIPs. Also, discipline yourself to refrain from going off an agreed asset allocation and investment strategy. — SD
Save on taxes to build a kitty: A large number of people focus on expenses like children's education, home loan repayment, etc, for tax deductions from their salary. You should also look into Section 80C investment options seriously. Here you can find investment options that can save on taxes and also build a long-term portfolio with good future returns. These options include equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS), various provident funds, NSCs, five-year tax-saving deposits, etc. 
ELSS could offer you the best deal in terms of superior tax benefits and higher returns in the long term. These funds have a lock-in period of three years and compare favourably with other options like five-year tax-saving bank FDs, fiveand 10-year NSCs, or 15-year PPF. The gains from ELSS that accrue are also exempt from capital gains tax, while gains from five-year tax-saving deposits are fully taxable. -VB 
Monitor and review: After you have put in place an investment strategy and implemented it, periodically check if the plan is working for you from every possible angle. If you have moved away from the agreed plan, change the asset mix. If that means exiting under-performing investments, do that. -SD 
Mind your credit score: Like in business, in personal finance too credit line availability plays a critical role. Today, institutions consider both borrowers' income profile as well as their repayment behaviour across earlier liabilities while deciding their creditworthiness. A credit score of an individual is increasingly becoming an integral part of banks' appraisal process in determining whether to grant credit as well as its quantum.The higher your score, the better your creditworthiness and more are the chances of your loan application getting approved. Financial discipline in paying back the borrowed amount (EMIs) on time and as agreed to the lender is the foremost step to ensure a good credit score. Monitor your joint loans or loans where you are the guarantor regularly .It is advisable to get a copy of your credit report at regular intervals when you start taking debt, especially after opening or closing of new credit accounts. In case of any error, get it corrected without delay . -Mohan Jayaraman (MJ) 
Seek professional help: We are ready to seek help from dieticians, doctors, lawyers, etc. Likewise, we also need professional help to nudge us into an investing habit. -SD 

Credit Sudhaar is India's first Credit Health management & improvement company whose goal is to help clients to Restore, Enhance and Protect their Credit and make them credit healthy.

CS Identity Shield helps you to Monitor, Protect and Recover your Identity from multiple risks.

Courtesy: Times of India