Tuesday, 21 October 2014

India Third Most Affected Nation By Online Banking Malware

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 provider 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," TrendLabs Director Myla V Pilao told PTI. TrendLabs is Trend Micro's research and development centre. These and many such incidents show that cybercriminals will always adapt to new trends and situations whether in the use of new malware or targeted attacks techniques to continue their attacks, she added. 
 
She said the severity of attacks has intensified against financial 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, email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers, and date of birth.
 
These types of personal privacy breaches have affected organisation's sales and earnings, while leaving customers unable to access accounts and dealing with service disruption, 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. 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. 
 
"The incidents observed during this quarter further establish the need for a more comprehensive approach to security," TrendLabs Director Myla V Pilao said. 
A report by another security solutions firm McAfee said India is the fourth most affected country in Asia, with 786 phishing domains and 1,557 servers hosting suspect content. Also with 145 spamming domains originate from India, the country is the eighth most affected country in the Asia Pacific region.
 
According to government's cyber security arm Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In), 62,189 cyber security incidents were reported in the first five months of the current calendar year. Also, till May this year, 9,174 Indian websites were hacked by various hacker groups spread across the world. 

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: DNA

Monday, 20 October 2014

Use Cards Judiciously To Improve Credit Score

The average Indian shopper today is likely to have at least two credit cards in his wallet. In fact this number has been on the rise with banks and credit card companies sending free lifetime credit cards with ‘attractive features’ to anyone who they think fits the bill. These cards sometimes come as a ‘surprise gift’.
 
As a customer you have the choice to use the card or return it. If you receive a credit card, which you had not asked for you just need to cut it into two and send it back to the bank, declining the offer.
 
The more cards you have the more tempted you will be to avail the offers on each of them and at some point in time discipline could give way to reckless spending leading you into a maze of spiralling debt before you realise what hit you.
 
For a spender who is not disciplined in prompt repayments, debt can mount in accelerated proportions.
 
If you use your credit cards extensively or even if you use it once in a while, it would be prudent to access your credit report from Cibil (Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited). You can manually access your credit report by placing a request with Cibil, details of which are available at www.cibil.com.
 
Though currently you can pay for this report through Cibil’s online payment gateway, you cannot access your credit report online as of now but this will be enabled in future. Once you make your payment Cibil will send you a hard copy of your credit report to your postal address.
 
Having access to credit reports is a definite step for the genuine borrower with an excellent credit profile to increase his negotiating power. So, how can you ensure your credit report gives you this negotiating power?
 
Well, what can be the doom for a reckless spender can be an excellent tool for the disciplined borrower. It depends on how you use your credit card. This can be the single most important factor in improving and increasing your credit score.
 
Here are some pointers on what to do and what not to do in order to achieve this. 
1. Judicious use: Making use of a credit card judiciously will help you improve your credit score. Just make sure to choose a card that is suited for you from a well known brand.
 
2. Low credit limit: Keep a tab on the credit limit of your card. Open a credit card account with a company that will provide you with the highest credit limit possible. High credit limits, even if they are not used, will add merit to your credit score and improve it.
 
3. Closing credit card accounts: The number of years you hold a credit card account has an impact on your credit scores. So keep your oldest credit and if you must close a card opt for the most recent cards and close them one at a time, maybe once a month over a period of time, as closing them too quickly could also affect your credit score as your available credit limit will take a dip in one go.
 
4. Bargain for a lower interest rate: If you have never defaulted on payment for a few years, make use of your good repayment track record and speak to the bank officials for a better bargain. Request them to lower your interest rate citing the good track record.
 
5. Request for hike in credit limit: The most recent card has the highest credit limit. The oldest card has the lowest credit limit. What do you do? In such instances, if you have a good repayment track record, approach the bank and negotiate for a higher credit limit especially since you have been their customer for quite a few years. Most banks will facilitate such a request. You can then go ahead and close your most recent card.
 
6. Keep a self imposed credit limit: Never exceed 40% of your credit limit. This has a beneficial effect on your credit score. This shows your credit limit is high but you have not burnt it up and have plenty in reserve. This logic helps you attain a much higher credit score. The same logic suggests you should not close any credit card accounts, as they collectively will provide you a high credit limit, which is good for the score.
 
7. Paying off credit card dues quickly: This will dramatically improve your credit score. Try not to accumulate too much credit card debt. Be wise and pay the dues quickly and keep rotating your cards. Paying off dues timely will spike your credit score.

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: DNA

Saturday, 18 October 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

SD: Shalini Dhawan, cofounder & director, Plan Ahead Wealth Advisors BVR: B V R Venkatesh, director, Value Invest Wealth Management VB: Vidya Bala, head - mutual fund research, FundsIndia.com MJ: Mohan Jayaraman, country manager, Experian India

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: Times of India.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Lenders Respect Financial Discipline

An individual’s credit score provides a loan provider with an indication of the ‘probability of default’ of the individual based on their credit history. What this means in simple English is that the score tells a credit institution how likely the loan applicant is to pay back a loan (should the credit institution choose to sanction your loan) based on the individual’s past pattern of credit usage and loan repayment behaviour.
 
Given that the credit score is a loan evaluation tool developed to help loan providers, the first logical question that comes to mind is “what difference does it make to me?”
 
Well, the obvious answer is that the higher your credit score (i.e. the closer it is to 900) the more likely you are to get your loan application approved.  The reason being, closer the score is to 900, the more confidence the loan provider will have in the individual’s ability to repay the loan.
 
While, this is what is claimed it is always useful to analyse the underlying data, which serves as the foundation based upon which such claims are built.
 
So what exactly does the data say?
 
The best way to analyse the impact the credit score has on an individual’s loan application is to observe the lending behaviour demonstrated by credit institutions over time. The table below shows us a comparison of new loans sanctioned by loan providers based on an individual’s credit score in 2008 as compared with those in 2011.
 
The data tells us that 90% of new loans sanctioned in both 2008 and 2011 were to individuals with a credit score of 700 or more. 
 
However, the data also indicates that over three years, lending institutions showed a change in preference from individuals with a credit score ranging from 750-799 in 2008 to individuals with a credit score of 800 and above in 2011.
 
Hence, you will have to maintain greater financial discipline in order to secure credit in the future.
 
It is important to note that loan providers also consider your total income, overall debt burden and fit with their internal credit policy before deciding upon your loan application.  Hence, if your EMI to income ratio is over the set cut-off percentage your loan application may get rejected despite having a credit score of 847.
 
Simply put, the Cibil TransUnion Score is like the marks one earns on school examinations. Higher marks (credit score) do increase the chances of your being accepted to college (getting a loan approval) but don’t guarantee your admission. A more overall evaluation of your extracurricular activities (income level, overall debt burden) is required before you admission is secured.
 
Similarly, different colleges will have different cut-offs with regards to the marks (credit score) required to gain admission.

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: DNA

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Survey Reveals How Indians Forsee The Future Of Smartphones

NEW DELHI: Indians expect that in about 10 years from now technology will be advanced enough to give them phones that will have the capability to smell things.
 
homes that would read their minds and talk to them and vehicles that fly, says a survey.
 
They also see cybercrime emerge as a key concern, as per the survey by chip maker Intel's cybersecurity arm McAfee.
 
"The phone people will be using in 2025 will be one with touch and smell capabilities according to 44% of Indians," said the study, 'Safeguarding the Future of Digital India in 2025'.
 
McAfee commissioned marketing Science Institute (MSI) for the research which conducted online involving 1,002 Indians aged between 21 and 65. It comprised 523 men and 479 women.
 
"As Indians come to terms with the internet of things, we understand consumers are concerned about how these changes will impact their safety and privacy," McAfee's managing director for India and SAARC Jagdish Mahapatra said.
 
About 92% of people in the survey said artificial intelligence and robotics will help them in their jobs and almost all of them, 98%, were of the opinion that they will want to put more effort into protecting their digital assets in future.
 
Majority of the Indians said that most common devices in 2025 will be the smartphone (77%), smart watches (75%), tablets (67%), laptops (63%); 59% said appliances connected to the internet will be common.
 
People showed fascination for wearable devices. Around 90% were keen on a wearable device that can scan the barcode of a particular product (grocery or otherwise) and automatically add it to the shopping cart.
 
Besides, 83% believed that in 2025 people will own a wearable device that sends vitals directly to a physician, saving themselves a visit to a doctor's office.
 
Already, companies are selling smart watches with motion sensors, sleep monitor and pulse monitor linked to computers.
 
When it comes to homes, 94% expressed the view that home will use solar panels as the main source of energy in 2025 and their home security will be connected to mobile device — a trend that has already started.
 
Moreover, 77% said that by 2025, they would have been to a house that speaks to them and reads their mind.
 
While experiments have started on vehicle which will have no driver, 86% of the Indian said that in 2025 there are going to be models available that are completely auto- pilot. Small chunk, around 24%, went further to say that they will get around by hybrid vehicle in 2025, or by a flying vehicle (21%).
 
Since all the devices will be computerized and use wireless signal, 90% people said that cyber security will be a big concern.
 
About 47% expressed apprehension of identity theft, monetary theft and fraud will be biggest concerns by 2025.

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: Times Of India

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

How India\'s First Wildlife Cyber Crime Cell Helped Nab Tiger Poachers

MELGHAT, MAHARASHTRA:  It's a one of a kind cybercrime cell, unique because it focuses on tracking cases of wildlife poaching.
The Melghat wildlife crime cell in Maharashtra is the first in the country under the forest department and was instrumental in arresting 34 people in one case of tiger poaching including an accused called Ranjeet who was arrested from Andhra Pradesh after his movements were monitored for months at a stretch. Ranjeet had been on the radar of different law enforcement agencies across India including the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI. Ranjeet and another accused based out of the capital, Surajpal, were accomplices of the notorious poacher Sansar Chand.
 
Nodal Officer at Cyber Cell Parikshit Dambhare, who spent many hours a day tracking Ranjeet explains, "Tracking Ranjeet took eight days, 16 hours per day. It was very difficult to track him as he kept changing his phones."
 
"We got CDR data. We got to know they were a big gang and they were moving from one part of the country to another. The people of Dhakna (involved in poaching case in Melghat) sold the skin and bones to Punjab, then Haryana, then Delhi. Tiger traps were recovered. Rs. 50 lakh were recovered from Surajpal in Delhi too. His bail plea has also been rejected twice since his arrest," Vishal Mali, assistant conservator of forest (ACF), Melghat told NDTV.
 
The efforts seem to be paying off. Crucial forensic evidence, diligently collected and linked to the accused has meant that the Melghat cell has already secured its first conviction in just over a year which is why other states like Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are also seeking their assistance to track poachers preying in their parks.

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: NDTV

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Kharghar man’s credit card hacked, Rs 20,000 spent

NAVI MUMBAI: A 43-year-old commercial head of a cement major, Surendra Kumar Jain, woke up at 3am on Thursday to a flurry of messages on his phone.

The texts were alerts that his credit card was being used to recharge phones, pay mobile bills and other similar activities. Jain instantly realized that none of these transactions were his and his card had been hacked. He blocked his card but not before the fraudster had spent close to Rs 20,000.

"The transactions were done online by cloning my credit card, though the card was with me. The maximum credit limit is Rs 55,000. The fraudster attempted 43 transactions but only 18 went through," said Jain.

Cyber crime cell head Pratibha Shendge said this was a different kind of fraud. "Usually, fraudsters clone credit cards for withdrawing cash from ATMs. In this case, his account was hacked and the unidentified accused got their hands on the CVV number and even the high-security 3D Secure PIN," she said.

Shendge added that the accused cleverly executed the transaction after midnight as the victim would be asleep. "We have spoken to the bank and are investigating whether any employee is involved in the crime," she said.

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: Times Of  India