Demat or Dematerialized Account is a modern form of holding and trading securities such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. It has replaced the traditional physical share certificates that were prone to theft, loss, and fraud. A demat account is a digital ledger that stores securities and allows for their transfer, sale, and purchase with ease. However, like any digital asset, a demat account is vulnerable to fraud and cybercrime. Therefore, it is crucial to take steps to protect your demat account from unauthorized access and fraudulent activities once you open a demat account. Here are some ways to safeguard your demat account from fraud:
Secure login credentials
The first and foremost step is to create strong login credentials that are unique, complex, and difficult to guess. Avoid using common words, birthdates, phone numbers, and other personal information as passwords. Instead, use a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters to create a strong password. Also, keep changing your password periodically and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
Two-factor authentication or 2FA is an extra layer of security that requires you to enter a code or token in addition to your password to access your demat account. It adds another barrier for hackers to overcome and makes it harder to breach your account. Therefore, it is advisable to enable 2FA for your demat account and use a trusted authenticator app or hardware token to generate the codes.
Avoid public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi networks are not secure and are prone to hacking and snooping. Therefore, avoid logging into your demat account or performing any financial transactions on public Wi-Fi networks, especially those that are unencrypted. Instead, use a secure Wi-Fi network or your cellular data network to access your demat account.
Monitor your account
Keep a close eye on your demat account and monitor your portfolio regularly. Check your transaction history, account balance, and other details to ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions or suspicious activities. If you notice any irregularities, report them immediately to your broker or depository participant.
Keep your contact details updated
It is crucial to keep your contact details such as email, phone number, and address updated with your broker and depository participant. This helps them to communicate with you in case of any suspicious activities or alerts related to your demat account. Also, make sure to verify the authenticity of any communication that you receive from your broker or depository participant before taking any action.
Don’t share your credentials
Never share your login credentials, 2FA codes, or other sensitive information with anyone, including your family members, friends, or brokers. Keep them confidential and secure, and avoid writing them down or saving them on your computer or phone.
Use a trusted broker and depository participant
Always choose a reputable and trustworthy broker and depository participant to open and maintain your demat account. Check their credentials, background, and reputation before investing with them. Also, ensure that they have robust security measures and policies in place to protect your demat account from fraud.
Be wary of phishing scams
Phishing scams are a common type of online fraud that involves tricking you into revealing your login credentials or other sensitive information. Phishing scams often use fake emails, websites, or social media accounts that mimic the real ones to deceive you. Therefore, always be cautious when clicking on links, downloading attachments, or entering your details online, and verify the authenticity of the source before taking any action.
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Keep your software updated
Make sure to keep your computer, smartphone, and other devices updated with the latest security patches and software updates. This helps to fix any known vulnerabilities and prevent hackers from exploiting them. Also, using the latest antivirus softwares will ensure that you’re not hacked keeping your securities safe and sound.
Apart from all of these ways to protect your account, you can use a demat app to open a demat account. A demat app will enable you to check your account on the tips of your finger. You can keep tabs and track your portfolio on the go. A demat app or a trading app, is the best way to stay updated with the happenings in the stock market.
The takeaway is to ensure to follow the above steps and to keep your account safe to not lose your account to fraud. Keep the password to yourself and your assets safe as well.