Identity Theft, also known as identity fraud, is a fraudulent activity in which the imposter gathers personal details of an individual to mimic someone else.
What is the Dark Web? The dark web is one such portion of the World Wide Web which is not accessible by regular search engines. The dark web is considered a hotbed for criminal activities, and it is much more than that. Various websites exist on an encrypted network inside the dark web. Standard web browsers and programs cannot find these websites. Once inside the dark web, different sites and pages can be accessed like one does on the web. Scientists believe that the internet we see is only 4% of the entire ocean of the web, meaning the 96% consists of the "Deep and Dark Web". The user interface used in the dark web is usually internet-based, but it utilises special software which is not part of the standard ones. There are dozens of web browsers to surf the internet, but they all work in the same way. These standard browsers use ports and protocols to request, transfer and view data on the Internet. The website you access may look familiar, but as you enter, it may be illegal or something familiar but otherwise not monitored by anyone else. Therefore, the deep web and the dark web are famous for being anonymous. Also read: Cyber Espionage Campaign: Strings that tie China, Australia and the US How to access dark web browser? In order to access a few areas which are restricted, the user may need a password and a process to follow. A special software called TOR (The Onion Router) or the Freenet has these non-standard connections. These browsers are unlike standard internet browsers and have a process to access. They allow the users to browse around the dark web and are focused on keeping the user identity anonymous. If hacked or accessed, the regular web browser can easily provide user information such as who the user is and whereabouts. Though the dark web is providing 100% anonymity, federal agencies have been successful in tracking down criminal activities on the dark web. It is often said that the person you are talking to on the dark web could either be an FBI agent or a criminal. Image: Kalkine What happens inside the world of the dark web? The dark web is famous for allowing sinister activities, but many users go on the dark web to access information which otherwise may not be accessible on standard internet. Such as users from extremely oppressive governments who cut access to the world for their citizens. Unfortunately, such confidential environments also provide open platforms to criminals, terrorists and other such individuals involved in illegal activities. Hence, experts advise users to not access the dark web even out of curiosity as it is a lawless environment. There have been many incidents where innocent, curious users were trapped and forced to get involved in criminal activities or their digital devices hacked and compromised without their knowledge. A study conducted by a University of Surrey researcher Dr Michael McGuires in 2019, Into the Web of Profit, shows that the dark web has become worse in recent times. Since 2016 of all the listings on the dark web suggested, 60% could harm companies. Everything illegal and criminal can be found on the dark web, it also has other legitimate options such as chess clubs or book clubs, but because of the anonymity, the user will not know whom he/she is interacting with. Inside the dark web, anonymity and lawless nature make the crimes which exist otherwise in our society hard to trace. The payment procedure inside the dark web is also different from the World Wide Web. Most often, Bitcoin and Monero cryptocurrency are used for the transactions. RELATED READ: Knock Knock! Cybercriminal at Your Doorstep What’s the difference between the deep web and dark web? The dark web is part of the entire deep web and is hidden from regular browsing access. Most people confuse the deep web and the dark web as one entity. It is not. The deep web content includes anything hidden and restricted behind the security wall such as content which otherwise requires paywall or sign-in or blocked by the author. Content which cannot be easily accessible on regular internet such as medical records, membership websites, paid content are available on the deep web; hence it is also called Invisible Web. No one really knows the total size of the internet, but the experts believe that the standard World Wide Web consists of only 4% internet, the deep web consists of 90% and dark web consists of 6% of the entire internet. ALSO READ: Technology has changed the way we work amid the COVID-19 crisis: A look at in-demand technologies Image: Kalkine Also read: It happens again, NZX being bullied by Cyber-attackers- Down for the fourth day What kind of risk companies face due to the dark web? The Into the Web of Profit report listed below threats various organisations around the world are facing, especially the ones who have weak or insufficient cybersecurity measures. Malware attacks Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks Botnets Trojan, keyloggers, exploits Espionage Credentials access Phishing Refunds Customer data Operational data Financial data Intellectual property/ trade secrets Also read: Cybersecurity and the Requirement of a Resilient Environment in Australia Are there advantages and disadvantages to the dark web? The dark web provides complete anonymity, the users get complete privacy to perform any activity, be it illegal or legal. Many countries in the world still have authoritarian regimes offering no civil rights to their people. To such oppressed lot, the dark web provides an opportunity to access news, information, data and also express their views. The dark web is also a perfect place for law agencies to map criminal activities while being undercover. It is also easy to commit gruesome crimes through the dark web as it is complicated and lawless. Criminals can easily use the dark web to compromise someone's privacy, steal data or private information or even hire someone to commit murder. Do internet users need to be concerned about the dark web? The simple answer is no unless the user is using the dark web. Study says that most young people visit the dark web out of curiosity. They do not want to indulge in any criminal activity but want to see how the hidden and secret world of the dark web operates. And that is where the possibility of the electronic device IP address getting hacked by other criminals to perform their criminal activities lies. The earliest use of darknet dates back to the year 2000. Freenet was created at the University of Edinburgh based on a student research paper. Ian Clark wrote the paper in 1999 on the possibility of such an encrypted internet base. Freenet was created to oppose censorship and provide a platform for free speech. The most powerful dark web is TOR, and it was created by the United States government to have a secure encrypted communication in case of emergency and complete disaster. Even today, many law agencies are secretly active inside the world of the dark web to gain access in the criminal world and stay one step ahead.
What is Online Banking? Online banking is a process of undertaking banking transactions via the internet; hence it is also known as internet banking or net banking or web banking or digital banking. Through the electronic payments system, users are enabled to access and perform a wide range of financial and non-financial transactions without the need to visit the financial institution's branch. GOOD READ: Australian Banking Space Amidst Virus-Induced Volatility; Digitalisation Turning Over a New Leaf What is the Significance of Online Banking Viz-a-Viz Traditional Banking? Online banking offers most of the services which are traditionally offered at the local branch. Users can check account details, access fund transfer and undertake tax payments. Apart from the essential services, users can also avail PPF and other insurance-related facilities, credit card and other such payment services, government schemes, etc. All these services are available on internet banking outside the regular banking hours, which is why online banking seems to be most convenient for the users. Net banking is considered more comfortable and often less expensive as well. Most of the brick-and-mortar banks now offer online services. Besides, the online-only banks or Neobanks are also growing in number and popularity because of the increase in demand. Moreover, for any user, it is essential to understand if the net banking experience is right for the needs and specifications. ALSO READ: Banking And Fintech Collaboration: Does The Road Less Travelled Hold Potential? How Does Online Banking Work? Online banking can be undertaken via: Accessing the official website of the particular bank on desktop/ computer or smartphone/ tablet Downloading the official mobile application of the bank like any other Android app or iOS app Unlike traditional banking, users can avail online banking services as per their convenience. There is no need to visit the bank's branch physically. With the fast-moving life, online banking has turned out to be time saving as it can be done from the home, office or on the go - anywhere and anytime. Below are some key steps involved in leveraging online banking benefits: To begin the services, the bank user needs to go on the bank website or download the mobile app. Users need to register themselves on the website or the application using the unique id and password. Once the account is created, users can start accessing all the services it offers. Banking services offered online may vary from bank to bank. Most banks provide the necessary services such as fund transfer, bill payments and viewing account details. Some banks also offer the customers to apply for credit card and avail insurance investment services which they have. Customers can also check the account balance without even logging in. Applying for a loan or making the loan payment can also be done through online banking. What are the Benefits of Online Banking? With the substantial growth of internet, everything has shifted to the electronic version. Just like one can shop online or trade online, users can bank online. People have access to various electronic gadgets such as laptops, phones, iPads, which make the banking experience one click away to conduct financial transactions. Below are some of the key advantages associated with digital banking: The most significant advantage of net banking is - convenience. A lot many services can be availed anywhere, anytime, instead of going to the bank physically. Online banking can also be done on holidays, which is something impossible in case of traditional banking. Users can make a transaction without going to the bank counter. No need to fill the forms to deposit and withdraw money. No need to abide by the working hours of the bank or worry about the weekend. Through online banking, the bank account and relative services are accessible 24x7. Users only need the electronic device, internet connectivity and account details to access the services. Banks also share the transaction summary and spending overview onlind. Users can understand where and how much money they have spent. It's easier to track the money trail and summarise the funds that come to your account and funds you are spending category wise. The transactions are immediately updated and reflected, therefore making the experience very fast. Through net banking, users can also add multiple accounts of the same bank and keep track of them all simultaneously. Bill payments can also be made online, which saves a lot of time for the users to go to individual entities to make the payments. Users can save on heavy penalties for not paying bills on time. With net banking, credit card bills can be paid on just one click. The user-friendly experience makes net banking very painless and un-challenging to use. Most banks have advanced encryption systems and robust cybersecurity in place, which makes online banking very safe to use. What are the Risks Involved in Online Banking? Online banking is not full-fledged banking; hence there are limitations with the services it provides. Especially for the first-time online banking customers, the systems may present a few challenges, which is why some people prefer transactions with the help of branch officers. The baby boomer generation is not very technology friendly, hence they find net banking challenging. Although most of the banks have robust banking security in place, they still face cybercrimes such as hacking and ransomware. Additionally, online banking is dependent on internet connectivity. Therefore, users who have the internet are only able to access the net banking. Low connectivity issues also make it challenging to conduct banking transactions successfully. Because of the less awareness, users also fall prey to the online financial fraud and identity theft. While accessing net banking, banks advise consumers to use their data plan instead of using public Wi-Fi networks to prevent unauthorized access and further damage. Besides, additional security measures are important to be considered while relying on digital banking. ALSO READ: Technology has changed the way we work amid the COVID-19 crisis: A look at in-demand technologies What are the Non-Traditional Neobanks? Neobanks are the financial institutions which operate purely online. Neobanks are also referred to as smart banks. The growing demand for digital banking has paved the way for neobanks. These banks are accessed through their applications on smartphones/computers. Traditional banks have branches, but neobanks do not have a physical infrastructure apart from their office. Neobanks also have a different technology from the conventional banks as they solely operate online such as they are based entirely on the cloud, and the technology is built from scratch. It is essential to understand that the traditional banks which offer online/ net banking services are not neobanks. Neobanks are entirely different entities and operate exclusively online. GOOD READ: A look at Neobanks and tale of this Self-Styled Neo-lender, Wisr
Yacht insurance is a type of insurance policy that offers protection liability coverage on cost of accidental loss or damage to owners of yachts or pleasure boats. Yacht insurance policies offer comprehensive as well as third party liability insurance safety and typically cover the theft, damage, boat, and machinery.
A trademark is a unique sign which is used to signify a business or its products. Once a trademark is registered, other organisations cannot use it, and it becomes exclusive to the registered company. If the company maintains due process and pays fees, the trademark can be retained forever. The service mark is usually designed in a way so that the brand is identified and distinguished from the other goods and services. They are a form of intellectual property the company has authority over. And because they become the brand identity, companies spend a lot of effort and time to choose a unique mark. Protection of the brand from copycats becomes the foremost responsibility of any business. Trademarks can be of various forms such as brand name, slogan, and logos. Over time, the company name and trademark have become one identity. Image Source: MegapixlTM What are the signs of a trademark? It is also fundamental to recognise that all trademarks are not registered, and it is also not mandatory to register them. Even without the registration, companies can use the mark by using “common law” rights. When using the pattern, it is recommended to adopt the designation with it. If the mark is not registered under any authority, companies can use TM for goods and SM for services. These letters indicate that the trademark is under the adaptation of the “common law” and is not to be copied elsewhere. These signs are very commonly used along with the brand mark in advertising campaigns or on the website of the business. How to register for a trademark? In order to register the trademarks, companies are required to apply for it to the concerned authorities. Having received the ownership confirmation, companies can retain their brand identity through their trademarks. Image Source: MegapixlTM Why is trademark important? There are various reasons why it is recommended to use a trademark for your company, be it a logo, symbol or tagline. The competition in the market is continually growing and so is the number of goods and services. The trademark is what separates your goods and services from that of others and offers safety to the brand and its reputation. When customers see a symbol such as Apple or Adidas or other brands, they can quickly identify it with the brand without even reading its name. It is one of the most significant benefits of the trademark that the consumers promptly identify and associate with the company logo or taglines. Therefore, it is essential to register them so that other companies would not be able to use it. And if anyone does, it calls for legal repercussions. The process of registration gives you the exclusive rights to your trademark, which helps you connect with consumers and other stakeholders in order to grow the business. Therefore, the registration of your brand identity should be a fundamental part of your marketing strategy. The exclusive rights allow you to take legal actions against those using your brand identity for other products or marketing. Trademarks have also become a useful tool to communicate the brand identity and its purpose to the consumers—a trademark protects a brand’s reputation and protects consumers requirements. Moreover, a trademark creates brand awareness in the larger market which helps businesses in getting brand loyal customers.