Digital hygiene: what it is and why it would help prevent financial fraud

Digital hygiene: what it is and why it would help prevent financial fraud

An investigation of Asobancaria showed that women are often more vulnerable to digital fraud and than people who do not have good digital hygiene such as, among other things, changing your passwords frequently, are more likely to be victims of these criminal practices.

(See: The challenges and responsibilities of banking in the country).

The study was carried out with academic experts in behavioral economics by Juan Camilo Cárdenas, associate professor at the Universidad de los Andes and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in collaboration with Sensata Research UX.

A sample of more than 2,500 people in four of the largest cities in Colombia. Regarding the behavior of women in the face of fraud attempts, the study says that they were less likely to avoid fraud, that is, they are less likely to make the decision to delete, ignore or hang up in the hypothetical situations raised.

For this reason, an awareness strategy focused on them would help them run less risk.

(See: Is it good to start cutting interest rates in Colombia and the region?).

Among some of the important aspects of the study is the characterization of four user profiles. Risky users make up 20% of the total sample, together with prudent users, who represent 32%, are the ones who carry out the most banking transactions on the Internet, while the cautious (36% of the total) and the inexperienced and distrustful (the remaining 13%) are the ones that carry out this type of operation the least.

Risky and prudent users, mentions the Asobancaria study, paradoxically are those with a higher educational level, which allowed deducing that people neglect their secure digital habits once they gain more experience in the use of their digital financial products.

In any case, risky users is the group with the most victims.

The study says that media overexposure to the risks of losing personal and financial data in cyberspace “has caused people to stop paying attention to these alerts in the campaigns, just as they do not pay attention to the noise of a car alarm in the neighborhood”.

(See: The impact of crypto assets on the business model of banks).

In addition, it was found that the channel through which the fraud arrives can make a difference. Thus, it mentions that the probability of avoiding fraud was around 10% lower in cases where email with fraudulent links was proposed as a channel, such as phishing either smishing (modality for the theft of information through emails or text messages with links to fake websites) compared to a phone call or text message.

Change of focus in campaigns

The study says that campaigns to prevent digital fraud should stop using words related to fraud and cybercrime, as this arouses distrust in people because they do not have sufficient cognitive tools to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources and that the conversation should be changed, passing from the fear of crime to positive messages to the financial user.

(See: The bankers’ proposals to improve competitiveness).

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