5 – Exer­cising care and remaining alert

Do you believe every­thing they want you to believe? Take respon­si­bility your­self, and always apply a healthy dose of sus­pi­cion when surfing.

The most impor­tant points to remember:

  • When surfing the Internet, always remain wary and con­sider care­fully where and to whom you pro­vide any per­sonal infor­ma­tion.
  • Finan­cial insti­tu­tions, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and other ser­vice providers will never ask you for a pass­word (nei­ther by e-mail nor on the tele­phone) and will not ever ask you to change your pass­word in this manner either.
  • When using mobile devices (smart­phones, tablets), you should take the same pre­cau­tions as the ones you take on your PC at home.
  • In case of uncer­tainty or sus­pi­cion as to whether there has been an attack, always seek sup­port.

Steps 1 to 4 ensure that you have pro­tected your device and online access very well from a tech­nical view­point. How­ever, user con­duct often poses the greatest risk in itself and makes users tar­gets for attack - you should there­fore always apply a dose of common sense.

Pro­tecting against Phishing and Social Engi­neering

With phishing, fraud­sters will try to win your trust by  for instance imper­son­ating your finan­cial insti­tu­tion in e-mails or on the tele­phone, to try and lure you to a web­site with the help of a link which looks almost iden­tical to the ones used by your finan­cial insti­tu­tion. If you fall for this and pro­vide them with your access data, these fraud­sters can then clear out your bank account.

Or there are fraud­u­lent sup­port calls, where a pur­ported Microsoft employee or IT sup­port com­pany con­tacts you to then try and gain access to your device.

Always remember: A rep­utable finan­cial insti­tu­tion will never ask you for your e-banking access data in an e-mail or by tele­phone.

Fraud­sters often find the basic knowl­edge for such attacks in social media and net­works. You should exer­cise cau­tion there, too, and seri­ously think about the kind of infor­ma­tion you dis­close there.

Increased risks with mobile devices

Access rights with mobile apps

Many apps grant them­selves exten­sive access rights with no apparent jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. It is for instance not nec­es­sary for any old app to access data such as loca­tion, address book or tele­phone status. You should there­fore crit­i­cally check whether an app actu­ally needs these access rights to func­tion, and deac­ti­vate any rights not required if pos­sible.

You should be cau­tious about passing on your loca­tion details as a matter of prin­ciple: Avoid local­i­sa­tion ser­vices, and don’t save any loca­tion details in any photos you might upload to social media. Thieves and hackers can leverage that kind of infor­ma­tion.

Imme­di­ately lock in case of loss

With the help of var­ious apps, lost or stolen mobile devices can be locked remotely. This will ensure your per­sonal data on your device are erased and can no longer be retrieved. But beware: This type of com­mand can also be abused by mali­cious third par­ties. You should there­fore ensure you only use rep­utable sup­pliers here, too. Once you have locked your device, you should also get your provider to lock your SIM card.

Ask for help

If you are not cer­tain, sus­pect an attack or worse, or have already fallen victim to an attack, don’t hes­i­tate to ask for help, for instance:

  • In case of uncer­tain­ties and ambi­gu­i­ties with regard to your e-banking facility, con­tact your finan­cial insti­tu­tion.
  • For tech­nical prob­lems or in case you sus­pect a mal­ware infec­tion, con­tact your IT expert/IT sup­port for help.
  • If you have fallen victim to an attack, notify your finan­cial insti­tu­tion and the police.

Pro­tect your data and all your devices with the help of our “5 steps for your dig­ital secu­rity”:

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