You should know that everywhere you go on the Internet; you are being watched. From the sites you visit, to the links you click, somebody somewhere is recording information about you. You have a Digital Avatar.
Cyberior is an offering developed by Europ Assistance. The Europ Assistance Group is a global leader in Cyber Fraud and Identity Protection solutions. Europ Assistance’s CyberFraud and Digital Identity Protection solution is marketed under various brand names worldwide including Iris, Digitale Securio, LaCyberProtection, and Cyberior.
Here, Ram Seethepalli, CEO, talks to Dataquest regarding the various ways you can protect your digital identity. Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: As WFH continues, how are you suggesting citizens protect themselves?
Ram: Work from home will continue for few more years. Also, we know that everyone is online now. Most of the tasks are being done digitally, through devices, and new channels.
The problem is that our data is not just our anymore. What people don’t appreciate is they think that as long as people are careful with their OTP, or if other people don’t see the ATM password, they are protected.
The reality is every account you access is potentially leaving a clue about who you are online.
So it could be Cleartrip, Uber, LinkedIn, Zomato etc. When you’re accessing these accounts; you’re entering your password into these accounts. It could be your credit card information, your Pan Card, your Aadhar card, your Driver’s License.
It could be someone who gets a hold of your medical insurance card and pretends to be you and file an insurance claim.
An individual has to be aware that there is a digital avatar of themselves.
Consumers have to become aware. You have to protect the digital aspect just as much as you’re protecting the physical.
What people should do in the work from home environment, is to be aware and be careful about protecting the ‘Digital You’.
DQ: Why do you say there is a rising need to hand the power of cyber-protection to customers, especially in India?
Ram: Whenever you enter your ID and passwords into an account, you implicitly trust that that information is safe. You trust banks because they are heavily regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, monetary policies and everything else.
Consumer tend to feel like if there is an ATM theft, the bank will refund their money. There is some level of protection there.
But that’s only one kind of crime that you’re protected for. If your Zomato password has been hacked how will you know? You will never know and it is very difficult for you to know. It is likely that you use the same email id and password to access Zomato and Swiggy and possibly Tata Sky and Netflix. For all of these companies, there is no regulation for them to tell you ‘Hey, we’ve been breached.’
The digital avatar of oneself needs to be proactively protected by you and you need to take responsibility, you need to be aware of it. You shouldn’t rely on the good faith of only the banks and only the providers of services that you are so trustingly putting your passwords in. It should be a joint effort.
DQ: Elaborate on Cyberior, and what technologies are you using for this?
Ram: To help consumers tackle with such digital adversities, Cyberior protects the consumers’ personal and financial information thus ensuring high-end protection.
It flags off any data leaks in real-time, advises on necessary measures, and provides further resolution, the collective efforts of which shelter businesses, families, or any other consumers from the perils of digital fraud and cybercrime.
Without being technical, we have technologies that monitor the dark web and the deep web. This is where malicious data about individuals is brought, sold and traded.
We have technologies to be constantly mining that underground markets, to see if anything is happening for any of our customers So that’s one part of it. We’ve got technology that is embedded inside devices to protect privacy. Then we’ve got technologies and integrations into the financial databases to protect our consumers there as well.
What makes our solution unique is the technology supported by service. In other words, if something bad happens, we know how to solve it for you also.
He also added that Justice BN Krishna is a retired justice, who’s writing the personal data protection laws of India and that bill is going to be passed in a few months hopefully, in the parliament.
What he said that people will have to think about protecting their digital identity as a utility. He used the words, it’s like a utility, you’re doing things to do protect yourself in other ways.
Think about spending time, effort and resources to protect your digital identity. It’s inevitable and the reason he said it’s inevitable, is because he said it’s a cat and mouse game because we do some things to protect ourselves and cybercriminals get even more creative and do something else. The average consumer will struggle to keep up with these criminals.
So doing things spending time, effort and resources to protect yourself, he said, is inevitable. I thought it was profound. The way he shared this information. The last thing I probably want to say to you is to protect the ‘Digital You’ and there are tools that you can deploy and it protects the ‘Digital You’. Your ‘Digital You’ is actually so many facets of your life we talked about such as account breach, financial monitoring, device protection and then there are tools and capabilities that you can use cost-effective tools that you can use to protect yourself.