Indian government issues a notice to smartphone users: do’s and don’ts

As cybercrime incidents continue to rise, it is essential that internet users are aware of cybercrime. Cyber ​​criminals trick innocent users into clicking on malicious links by promising fake rewards and cash prizes. The Indian government has issued a notice on “best practices” that can be followed by smartphone users to stay safe online. India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has released a list of do’s and don’ts for citizens to remember when they download applications on their smartphones or browse online. There are:

– Reduce the risk of downloading potentially dangerous apps by limiting your download sources to official app stores only; Google Play Store and App Store.

– Always check the app details, number of downloads, user reviews, comments and “ADDITIONAL INFORMATION” section before downloading the app.

– Check app permissions and only grant permissions that have context relevant to the purpose of the app.

– Do not check the “Untrusted sources” box to install sideloaded applications.

– Install Android updates and patches as soon as they are available from Android device vendors.

– Do not browse untrustworthy websites or follow untrustworthy links and exercise caution when clicking on the link provided in unsolicited emails and text messages.

– Look for suspicious numbers that don’t look like real mobile numbers. Scammers often hide their identity using text messaging services to avoid revealing their real phone number. Genuine SMS messages received from banks usually contain the sender ID (consisting of the short name of the bank) instead of a phone number in the sender information field.

– Do thorough research before clicking on the link provided in the message. There are many websites that allow anyone to search based on a phone number and see any information about whether a number is legit or not.

– Click only on URLs that clearly indicate the domain of the website. When in doubt, users can search the organization’s website directly using search engines to ensure that the websites they have visited are legitimate.

– Install and maintain up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software.

– Consider using safe browsing tools, filtering tools (antivirus and content-based filtering) in your antivirus, firewall and filtering services.

– Exercise caution with shortened URLs, such as those involving and tinyurl. Users are advised to hover their cursor over shortened URLs (if possible) to see the full domain of the website they are visiting or use a URL checker which will allow the user to enter a short URL and to display the full URL. Users can also use the preview function of the shortening service to see a preview of the full URL.

– Check for valid encryption certificates by checking the green padlock in the browser’s address bar, before providing sensitive information such as personal data or account login information.

– The client should immediately report any unusual activity on their account to the relevant bank with relevant details to take further appropriate action.

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