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Go Digital Stay Safe

28 April, 2021

Digitally Enabled
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When we thought that we might be on the road to recovery, the country is seeing a more traumatic second wave of COVID-19. It is better to stay home and safe and step out only if essential. It is also important to get the vaccination done; it is being reported that vaccination seems to bring down the chances of severe infection, hospitalization, and fatality rates. It is our duty as responsible citizens to take care of ourselves and reduce the burden on the overburdened healthcare system of our country.

Towards this, the one important thing that seniors can do is to adopt technology and manage all operations from home. Whether shopping for essentials, groceries, routine medical checkups and follow-up teleconsultations, making utility bill payments, going digital is the way. It is the safest way right now, so you need not step out and can avoid all physical contact with outsiders. Of course, there are some things to be understood and taken care of when going digital, from the cybersecurity perspective. All it needs is a little understanding and discipline to ensure that we safely carry on digital transactions.

Pros

  • Senior citizens’ stepping out for errands is a big concern in the present times due to the pandemic. Apart from this, senior citizens have also been attacked for cash and other valuables like phone, gold ornaments, etc. By going digital, all these issues can be totally avoided.
  • It is also a very convenient option as you can avoid any form of queues, specific timings, social distancing norms etc. which may be difficult to follow. By avoiding cash, you can also avoid trips to the bank or the ATM.
  • By going digital, you have multiple options like debit cards, credit cards, digital wallets, online banking, etc. Almost all forms of transactions can be easily and seamlessly done using one of these modes. Most physical shops, too, are encouraging these options through their online initiatives, with safe home deliveries enabled. 
  • Many digital wallets allow you to make purchases and pay utility bills and even make phone and cable TV recharges, etc. It is simply so easy, just a few clicks. Even insurance renewal can be done online. 
  • Digital payments made using credit cards and wallets also carry loyalty awards in many forms, like cash backs, vouchers, accrued points, discounts and so on. All these are indirect benefits gained from going digital. Many of these providers even send you reminders when the recharges are due. 
  • The best part about going digital is that you get to easily keep track of all your expenditure through easily accessible options. It makes it easy for you to plan for your budget and future planning as well. 
  • Health checkups can be booked online for home collection of samples, and the reports will be shared through the mail. These can be shared with doctors for teleconsultations. Only if further tests or diagnostics are required, people need to step out. 
  • From the cybersecurity point of view, most of these have strong features like OTPs, multi-level verifications, etc., which means that the transactions are secure.
  • The most important benefit of going digital is what you save on the most priceless resource on earth – TIME. Imagine the amount of time you save by avoiding umpteen trips, which you can now utilize more resourcefully, whether catching up with family and friends, spending time on your hobbies, or any other way you choose to spend it.

Cons

If one is not aware and careful, it is easy to be conned in digital transactions, especially with fraudulent messages and calls. So, here is what you need to know to avoid all such issues.

  • Whichever mode you choose, please log in and log out every time you use it and do not leave these apps or sites perpetually open. There are many hackers on the prowl who are on the lookout for such opportunities.
  • Do not click on any links in any messages; Even if it looks like it has come from any financial provider. Please read carefully, verify and only then proceed. There is no harm in double or triple-checking rather than losing all money in your account.
  • No financial providers message or call you to ask for your certain details; please do not provide your passwords, OTPs, bank details, contact details, etc., to anyone claiming to call from such places. 
  • Any messages claiming to provide you fortunes, cash prizes, easy work and earning, etc., are fraudsters trying to scam you in some way. 
  • Use STRONG passwords and change them often, and do not use the predictable ones like birthdays, names, etc., about you and your loved ones. Hackers can easily guess these.
  • Protect your phone with a screen lock of your choice like PIN, pattern, etc. This is important as even if the phone is lost, your details will still remain safe, and you should always such a loss or theft immediately to the police and other concerned authorities. 
  • Do not save credit card details in any app/site. It may be a bit troublesome, but please enter details every time to make safe transactions.
  • If you are a bit digital savvy, you may be aware of incognito or private windows through which you can make digital transactions. This is the best way to go about it. Someone in your close family can help you out on how to go about this once.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi or other people’s devices to make your transactions. Always maintain the sanctity of doing digital transactions from the safety of your home/device Internet.

Avoid downloading any unwanted apps on your device and maintain a neat desktop or home screen to make things easy for you to access.

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