21 tips you should follow to secure your banking transactions

The world of banking has evolved too much in last 10 yrs and the way banking happens now is totally different from past. Millions of people across the world still do not take simple precautions while they should ideally take or they are too casual about things and later regret when they lose money in some kind of fraud.

credit card fraud security

Today I want to talk about simple tips and precautions which you should take in your banking and while transacting with debit and credit cards online. It’s up to you to see which of the suggestions and tips suggested applies to you and how deeper you want to be secured. Here are those tips

1. Scratch your CVV number

It’s one of the most common mistakes almost every credit card and debit card holder does. On the back of your card, there is a 3 digit CVV number, which is very critical information and only you should be aware about it. The first thing you should do after getting the card is that you should memorize and write it down somewhere and then scratch it, so that someone else can’t have a look at it. Note that this step will secure your CVV, but then you have to remember it, you can’t retrieve it back if you forget it yourself!

2. Make sure your internet banking password is very strong

Your password for internet banking is probably the most important thing you have to take care of. Make sure you keep it very strong. Do not use your date of birth, name, etc in password, so that one can’t guess it and it’s only known to you. Make sure you have Capital Letters, Numbers, special characters in the password (anyway it’s mandatory in most of the banks portals).

strong password for banking

And if possible keep a long password, which makes it tougher to crack and even if someone is watching your fingers typing movement, it becomes extremely tough for them to remember. It’s a good idea to check your password strength on this password strength calculator

3. Make sure have sms alerts enabled for any amount

Make sure you have SMS alerts for all the debit and credit transactions. A lot of online frauds are series of transactions like buying 10 times on a similar site or couple of recharges to various mobile phones. If you get notifications on your phone even for small amounts, it will help you identify the start of a fraudulent activity.

4. Make sure you buy insurance for your wallet and its contents

Companies like OneAssist and CPPIndia have products like wallet insurance, which will cover you from theft and other frauds which are possible in day to day life. Not just that, they have much more than just insuring your credit and debit cards.

If you have ICICI bank Account, you can upgrade your debit card to RubyX and you will get One Assist complimentary benefits for your wallet insurance. Read more on this topic here

5. Do not save your banking passwords in Phone or Email in plain English

It’s a human tendency to take the shortcut route all the times, but when there is your money involved, it’s better not to ! . Do not store your banking passwords etc (I would say any password) in plain English in your emails or drafts or phone. Always make sure it’s in some format which only you understand, like interchange the alphabets one after another (e.g. – 12A47* becomes 214A*7) , so that you know what is the password, but even if someone gets access to it, has to spend some time to crack it. If you can avoid that also, it’s much better.

The other thing you can do is, you can just store start, middle and end 1-2 characters, because most of the times, we just need the start (most of us have multiple passwords). So if your password is MANISH987_FAKEpassw0rd , then you can store it as MA…98…FA…rd , and that’s all . You will most probably be able to recall it considering you are using it from long time, but someone else will not.

6. Never share your CVV / Expiry date to anyone on Telephone or email ever

Being financial literacy at low levels, millions of people are not aware which information is critical and which is not when it comes to credit cards, debit cards and online banking. Things like CVV , your Expiry dates etc are never ever asked by any bank customer care. They ask things like card number, start date, date of birth etc for verification purpose. But there are scams going on internationally where scamsters pose as actual customer care and in name of verification call, they ask for CVV number and Expiry Date, which is extremely confidential information and no one other than the cardholder should know.

7. Don’t let others punch your PIN at restaurants or Petrol Pump

I have seen tons of people who share their debit card CVV number at hotels while dining or even at petrol pumps just because its shortcut, and in 99% cases, nothing happens too and you are safe. But that 1% case is dangerous where someone looks at your expiry and CVV number, and then do the online transaction without requiring your OTP password (6 digit) on international websites (that last level authentication is just applicable for Indian websites)

I personally think you should punch your PIN yourself and not share it with others. Most of the time some restaurants even carry the EDC machine and bring it to you. If you are sharing your PIN with others and handing over cards at hotels, don’t be surprised if someday you get a sms saying – “You just purchased …. worth $340 at amazon.com” , it happens and very much can happen with you too! . Read the incident below

Four unauthorized transactions happened to my ICICI credit card on 27 Jan 2014 in USA in a Grocery Shop amount $1200 (Rs 70000) approx. The Credit card was with me all the times at Bangalore and I never shared my credit card or personal info to anyone. I was using the ICICI credit card from last 6 years. The transactions happened in night and in the morning I show the sms alerts and called customer care about that. (Source)

8. Have the customer care numbers in your mobile for emergency purpose

You should make sure that you have your credit card company customer care stored in your mobile to inform them as soon as possible in case there is some fraud transaction with your account or card. At times, we come to know about the fraud and we feel that we will inform the customer care as soon we reach home/office. But that can actually turn against you because of delay.

9. While using your ATM card, make sure you block the view of others

Looks are deceptive . You never know who is watching you and your activity and what’s their plan? It’s always a good idea to cover your hand while punching the PIN and make sure no one is looking at you. If its ATM, make sure no one is around you. I know many must be thinking that they should probably skip this point, but only when some fraud happens, you realize how important it is.

It’s like people start wearing helmets only after an accident and buy health insurance only when someone in relatives had paid a big bill at hospital.

block hand while entering ATM pin

10. Avoid ATM transactions very late at night or at lonely places

If possible, it’s better to avoid ATM transactions at lonely places or at nighttime especially after 10-11 pm . If you are using ATM’s at remote locations, you have to be extra cautious. There are numerous cases where someone entered the ATM while someone was using it and they at gunpoint looted them or because it was lonely and dark, someone tried to rob someone coming out of ATM.

ATM robbers , not safe at night

11. If you don’t swipe your cards regularly, keep it at home

I do this myself. I generally use only credit card when I am transacting offline, and use credit card only for online transactions, so I don’t not carry my credit card at all (haven’t seen it from last one year actually). So if you do not use it on a very regular basis or only in some pre-know situations , then it’s better to carry them only when you require them. Else just keep it at home.

I know this does not apply for many people, but you can still learn from this point .

12. Do not put much info on Social Media

I have seen numerous cases of people sharing their bank account details, phone number, email id, PAN and even date of birth online one various portals online (even on this blog) especially on consumer complaint websites. Note that you can write your entire story without your critical details too. Never share your personal details with anyone stranger or on public forum

13. Enable Two Factor Authentication for your transactions

Enabling two factor authentications means that you will be asked to enter your transaction password and then either an OTP (which comes on SMS) or your card grid values. So there is security at two levels.
debit card grid value
Most of the banks now have this by default, but if your bank has a choice of it, then you should enable it and if your email accounts are too precious, then even they have two factor authentications now (Gmail)

14. Never click on links on email to go to sites

You should never click on the links which come on your email and visit the website of a bank or credit card company. That might be a fraud email, which is taking you to a similar looking website. As far as possible, always make sure you only open the website either by clicking on a pre-stored web address or book marked one by you or type it yourself and always make sure it starts with https://

Below is an example of one such email which was sent by a fraudster on the name of Axis Bank Security update, which was taking the person to some other website on clicking the link mentioned in the email.

axis bank security alert mail

Image Source (read the full story on this link)
15. Never access your internet banking passwords and accounts from cyber cafe and someone else PC

You should make sure you do not access your internet banking (and even your important mail accounts) from a public computer or unsecured networks. Places like cyber cafes are a NO NO .. I would even make sure that I do not operate my internet banking from someone else computer too. You never know what kind of softwares are stored on someone computer. There are programs called “Key loggers” which record your which keys are you typing and it keeps a note of it and can later be retrieved.

Even some viruses and Trojans might be stealing your important information on real time and you might be at risk

16. Make sure your computer firewall is turned on and are running antivirus software

A lot of people turn off their firewall to increase the speed of internet . Make sure you avoid keeping it off. The firewall of your computer is extremely important to protect you. Also, make sure you have a good antivirus installed in your computer and keep cleaning it from time to time. You never know what bad thing got installed while you were downloading something over the net (especially when you use torrents)

17. Use Mobile Antivirus in case you access banking from your phone

If you use your mobile frequently to access banking, then it’s a good idea to have even mobile antivirus installed . Most of the troubles come from the least expected people and place.

18. Do not choose to save your passwords in browser when it asks for it

When you login to any website with username and password, browsers often ask you if you want to save the password, so that you it auto populates it next time.

don’t save password in browser

19. Keep your computer OS and browser up-to-date

Its highly recommended that you have an up-to-date browser and Operating system (I hope no one has Windows XP or Vista or old version of IE/Mozilla/Chrome) . There are several security updates which keep coming and many loopholes are detected and fixed from time to time. Almost all the banks suggest it clearly that users should keep their OS and Browsers updated. ICICI bank also mentions it on their security tips webpage ..

keep browser up to date for secured banking

20. Use Virtual Keyboard if possible

You must have seen a keyboard kind of interface which can be used while typing password and username, you can use it to make sure you are safe. As I explained before, there are programs like ‘Spy Ware’, which can detect which keys are you hitting and can steal that data. But when you use the virtual keyboard, it can only record which keys you pressed because it’s not happening on your computer, but one the bank server (experts on this topic, please correct me if I am wrong)

virtual keyboard for online banking

You should read more on this topic here

21. Use a separate browser for banking purpose

I think it’s a great idea to use a separate browser itself for banking purpose. Like if you are using Chrome for your other browsing, you can keep Firefox reserved for the banking related activities. I know this might sound like it’s going to extreme level of security, but then it depends on how paranoid you are about this security thing. It’s a personal choice of yours. If you do this, you can choose to disable the cache at all and not save anything in browser at all by default, no plugins , no add ons .. just pure minimal level of browser.

Secure your Banking NOW!

I know that most of the people might be following a lot of things mentioned here. Now it’s time for you to follow the other things mentioned here. Banking is one of the core element of your financial life, which can be considered the central element I would say. It’s extremely important to take care of it with highest level of security.

I would love to hear your comments and any new tips if you want to give from your side?

When exactly does PPF account mature ? Answer is not 15 yrs !

When does a PPF account mature ? If you thought that its 15 yrs from the date you started your PPF account, then you are wrong ? Yes – there is a myth around this topic and most of the people do not know how does it actually work.

Its extremely simple to find out when exactly your PPF account matures, and let me show you how to calculate it!

How is PPF maturity date calculated for PPF account ?

The maturity period for PPF account is 15 years from the close of the financial year in which the initial subscription was made. Its that simple. So if you open your PPF account on 4th Nov 2014, this date lies in the financial year 2014-2015 , then the financial year ends on 31st Mar, 2015 .

So the 15 yrs will be calculated from this date (31st Mar, 2015) and the lock in year would be 2015+15 = 2030 . So the exact date would be 1st Apr, 2030 in this case.

ppf maturity calculation

Note that PPF maturity always happens on 1st Apr , and not any random date of a year. Most of the people just add 15 yrs to the date of opening of PPF account to find out the maturity date.

Below you can see a short video which will explain PPF maturity calculation to you. Have a look at it.

So technically your PPF account can mature in 16 yrs in best case, suppose you open your PPF account in the first week of Apr, then your 15 yrs will be calculated from the next year (financial year ends on 31st Mar of the next year).

Jagoinvestor Android App Launched – Read articles on your Mobile

I am happy to share that finally we have launched an android app for the blog and an iOS app is in making and will be launched very soon.

You can do various things on the mobile app like reading the latest articles, checking your portfolio (for clients only), do your mutual funds investments and redemptions. You can also visit our knowledge section and check out some education material or use financial calculators on the app.

Here is the Android app link

jagoinvestor mobile android app


I hope this will make life easy for many people. You can download the app on any mobile or tablet which is on android platform. Give give your suggestions and comments on this.

Everything you wanted to know about Advance Tax and Penalties under it

Are you paying your income tax only at the end of the financial year ? If your answer is YES, then understand that you are doing it in wrong manner. Today we will learn about Advance Tax which is not widely understood and its quite important thing to know. I know that majority of the people don’t follow this process and pay the income tax at the end of the year only (infact on the last minute many times), But today you should understand if advance tax is applicable in case your case or not.

You can either view the youtube video below to learn about it, or skip it and read the article below.

What is Advance Tax ?

As the name suggests, Advance Tax is part payment of your income tax liability in advance. So instead of paying everything at the end of the year, you pay it 3 times in a year in parts. The concept of Advance tax exists because govt wants you to pay income tax as you earn month after month and not at the end of the year. Advance tax is to be paid when your annual tax liability exceeds Rs 10,000 overall .

However important point is that Advance tax is applicable on your Income from sources other than your Salary like

  • Interest on FDs or Savings bank deposits exceeding Rs. 10,000/-
  • Rental income on House Property/properties
  • Capital Gains on sale of Mutual Funds or Shares
  • Income from any other sources not mentioned as above.

Which means that if you are a salaried employee who does not have any other income source and if your employer deducts TDS regularly, then Advance Tax is not applicable in your case. You dont need to worry about it.

On which date you have to pay Advance Tax ?

You have to pay advance tax 3 times in a year, which is 15th Sept , 15th Dec and 15th Mar and you should be paying not less than 30% , 60% and 100% of your income tax liability before these dates. Below picture makes it clear for you.

advance tax payment

Which means that if your income tax liability for a year is Rs 1,00,000 , then you should pay advance tax of Rs 30,000 by 15th Sept, another Rs 30,000 by 15th Dec and rest Rs 40,000 by the end of 15th Mar

What if I don’t pay Advance Tax on time ?

If Advance Tax is applicable in your case, then you should be paying it on time, but if you don’t pay it on time, then you can pay it on the next due date along with the interest. So those who have not paid the first installment (i.e. September 15) of Advance Tax (if applicable to you), then you can pay it together with second installment (on of before 15th Dec), but with interest on the first instalment for deferment of the same by three month and if you are not paying it even on Dec 15th , then you can pay it by the end of the year along with the interest.

You will be charged with penalty under Sec 234B and 234C incase you ddon’tpay your advance tax on time. Let me quickly share what is sec 234C and sec 234B

Understanding Penalty under Section 234C

Lets first understand sec 234C. Under this section, if you don’t pay your installments of advance tax on time, then you are charged 1% of simple interest for next 3 months on the amount of shortfall. So this is the penalty to be paid because of DELAY!

Understanding Penalty under Section 234B

If your total advance tax paid by last due date (15th Mar) is less than 90% of your advance tax liability, then you will have to pay 1% interest on the balance amount each month until you complete the payment. which means that suppose your income tax liability is Rs 1,00,000 in total and if you have not paid anything upto 15th Mar, then you will be charged 1% on the outstanding balance (Rs 1 lac in this case) each month, unless you pay it, so if you pay in June , then you will be charged for 3 months penalty and it would be Rs 3,000 in total other than penalty under sec 234C.

Lets understand sec 234B and 234C with help of case studies. Lets assume that your total Income Tax payment for the year would be Rs 50,000, then as per rules of Advance tax, you should be paying

  • Rs 15,000 by 15th Sept
  • Another Rs 15,000 by 15th Dec
  • And Rest 20,000 by 15th Mar

Now imagine you don’t pay any advance tax , then how much penalty you will pay under sec 234B and 234C under various situations ? Below I have explained 4 situations where you pay your full income tax on different dates. Check out how much penalty you will have to pay under these situations !

advance tax payment example

How to pay Advance Tax ?

Now comes the final question, that how can you pay your advance tax ? Most of the people are worried on this, as they feel that paying advance tax would be very tough or involves lots of hassles, but thats not correct. You can make payment of your advance tax in less than 5 min.

There are mainly two ways of payment advance tax.

1. Offline option

Almost all the banks have tie up with govt for accepting the advance tax from the taxpayers, you can go to the banks which have the tie up and fill up the challan number 280 and pay your advance tax to them.

1. Online Payment of Advance Tax

The other faster way to make payment online. Here is how it works

Step 1: Go to https://onlineservices.tin.egov-nsdl.com/etaxnew/tdsnontds.jsp

challan 280 for advance tax payment

2. Choose Advance Tax option and other details and make payment

When come to the next page, you will have to choose various details here. Make sure you choose your

  • PAN Number (of utmost importance)
  • Advance Tax (under Type of Payment)
  • Email, Phone and Address details
  • Assessment year (to know more about this, click here)

Once you choose these details, you can then click on “proceed” and it will connect you to the Bank which you had selected, It will show you your NAME on the next page, so that you can confirm there was no mistake from you end, then you can make the payment online, and you will be able to print the receipt online (you will also get it on email)

Online Payment of Advance Tax

Are you paying your Advance Tax

I guess, you are now clear about the advance tax and how its calculated . Its a good practice to pay your advance tax on time and do not delay it because it can mean a penalty of few thousand rupees in most of the cases. I know its tempting to delay the headache and complete the payment once in a year, a lot of people might be ok with paying some penalty, but then you also invite related problems with it. Pick your choice.

6 unique traits of Action oriented investors, which every investor should adopt

We are happy to share that the action month is now ON and it is amazing to see how 200+ people have chosen to participate in action month. It is amazing to see how a small group of people have got together to bring a shift in their financial world. Some of our readers saw action month as an opportunity to get into action, they have realized that ONLY action produces RESULTS.

Action Oriented Investor

Some action month participants got in touch with us and they have already completed life and health insurance area of their financial life. And today we would like to share 6 winning traits that we could observe in action takers.

1. Focus on one area at a time

The participants who bought life and health insurance policy in 7 days of time were totally focused. If you remember as kids we use to play around with magnifying glass to burn a piece of paper. Now, if magnifying glass is focused on a particular part of paper, it starts to burn – but if you continue to move the glass the paper won’t burn. This was my first lesson in life when I got in touch with power of focus. If you want to bring a shift in your financial life, learn to focus and things will slowly start to shift.

2. Take responsibility and get honest

Some action month participants wrote to us about how irresponsible they were in the area of life and health. They saw action month as an opportunity to get honest about their inactions. They started to take 100% responsibility, started to own their inactions, behavior and things started to shift for them.

If you break the word responsibility it becomes “response ability”, which means your ability to respond. All the important areas and situations of your financial life are always in front of you. Now, it is up to you how you respond to those situations. If you are currently under-covered, your response to the situation will determine the final outcome.

3. Awareness is the key

If you want to bring change in any particular area of your financial life, awareness is the key. Our books, blogs and services are all designed about making people aware because we know awareness is crucial element. Those who were quick in completing action month tasks brought their full awareness on the protection area of their financial life. Awareness acts like a spotlight in a dark room, pick an area and become aware about what is present and missing in that area. Let your mind be your guide once you bring total awareness to the area which you want to change.

4. Complete what you start

The rule is very simple, ‘complete what you start’. A lot of investors still fail to stick to this simple rule. A lot of people think of buying term plan or health insurance, they even start the process but somewhere they leave things incomplete. The more you leave things incomplete the more you expand your pending item list. We could clearly see in some action month participants how they completed what they took on. They clearly understood power of completion and they chose to do complete job.

5. Total commitment

Always remember, commitment can rock your entire financial world. Every individual wants to create huge wealth as an investor but very few out of time are committed. Commitment is the secret ingredient which can help you to win the game of wealth creation.  If you generate right kind of commitment, life and health insurance area can be completed in a day. In the first week of action month some investors demonstrated what total commitment looks like, they got on call with us and took the required actions. (You can also participate in Action month by registering here)

6. High Say-Do ratio matters

As an investor always work on your “say-do” ratio. I mean do what you say and say what you are going to do, it is about making and keeping your promises. If you promise to yourself you will buy life cover than no matter what happens make sure you buy life insurance policy. Those who bought life cover and health cover in the week of action month we having high say-DO ratio. They took our support and completed the protection task in 7 days of time.

Opportunity to make the most out of December ACTION Month

We just wanted to share some of the winning traits that we observed in some action month participants. We will share more about them soon in upcoming articles. This article is not just for action month participants, it is for all those who wants to bring a change, shift or transformation in their financial life. Pick the point which inspires you and fill your financial life with right kind of commitment and actions. The action month is on till 31st of Dec, if you want to get life and health insurance in place you are free to participate. Also, in the comments section you are free to share unique traits of winning investor.

Join Action Month – Take-up 30 Day Challenge to complete your Life & Health Insurance (Download E-BOOK)

We are back with Action Month ! … You may be high on knowledge, but check if action is missing in your financial life or not ? If thats the case, action month will be of great help to you.  We invite you to see Action month as an opportunity for you to get into action.

Action month is a group campaign where you can choose to be a part of it and promise yourself to complete long time pending tasks in your financial life. This time we will provide full encouragement and support to bring a turnaround in your financial life.

If you are ready to take-up “30 DAY CHALLENGE” we would love to have you as action month participant.

We decided to bring back the action month in the month of Dec, 2015 and its mission is to help you in protecting your family.There are two area’s which you need to take care if you want to protect your family and yourself and they are

  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance

Top 5 Reasons – Why people remain under insured in Life and Health Insurance

  • Casualness: A lot of people are casual when it comes to buying health and life insurance cover. They are simply not present to the importance of this area and so they end-up without adequate life and health cover
  • Over analysis: A lot of so called “intelligent” investors choose to remain busy with their product over research habit.Because of this they continue doing analysis all the time. Over analysis keeps them away from taking right kind of action
  • Confusion: There are innumerable products available in the market and any investor can very easy fall into confusion trap. Confusion is one big reason why people fail at buying life and health insurance policy.
  • Procrastination: A lot of investors know they need to buy life and health cover but they are victim of procrastination. They continue to procrastinate and remain under insured
  • Fear: A lot of investors are afraid to approach companies and advisors. They are afraid of either getting wrong advice or they think they will be pressurized to buy wrong products. Inside this fear they do not initiate conversation of having life and health cover.

Bonus Reason to Join Action Month

I will give you one more reason for joining action month. Its already the month of Dec, and in next 1-2 months you would need to submit your investment receipts in your company to avail income tax benefits. If you complete taking life + health insurance in this month, you will have your recipts by Jan and you will be able to save income tax under sec 80C and 80D .

How will this Action Month Work?

Step 1

Calculate your Life Insurance and Health Insurance status by using the calculators below

Step 2

Register for the action month by filling up the form below we will send a joining kit which has 2 ebooks on life insurance and health insurance as GIFT in 48 business hours.

Step 3

You then become part of our 30 day challenge action month, where you promise yourself to complete your actions before the end of this year (within 30 days).You have choice to take actions on your own or take Jagoinvestor support in completing both the actions.Claim Settlement Assistance – Jagoinvestor Team will be providing claim assistance service to all the clients who will buy TERM PLAN under our guidance.

Calculate your Life Insurance and Health Insurance Status

Below is a simple life insurance and health insurance calculator, which will help you understand where you stand in these areas. Put your numbers and see the output, and then fill up the form below these calculators to be a part of this amazing action month.

Join the Action Month REVOLUTION and be part of 30 day challenge

Finally, fill up the form below to register yourself in the action month and be part of our 30 day challenge. When you fill up the form below, you  officially register yourself in Action month and after 1 month we will ask for your actions and what is the status. Once you get policy in your hand we will ask you for a picture of you holding your policy with your loved ones.


Welcome to the 100 crore Club

(We want to HELP over 100 families in having adequate life and health cover)

We really wish that in this action month, the combined sum assured taken crosses at least 100 crore. Even if 100 people take 1 crore sum assured, it will be total of Rs 100 crores, which we call as 100 crore club. Are you going to be part of it ?

If you have any doubts or issues regarding this action month, you can ask your question below in comments section.