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Digital economy and the puzzle of protection

by Rinku Khumukcham
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We are witnessing a growing trend of digital payments in India. A digital payment awareness week is being celebrated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to give impetus to this trend. RBI has also started the facility of instant payment through normal phones without internet. With this, 400 million feature phone users in the country will also get the benefit of digital payment facility. More than 60 percent of the country’s population is already connected to the Internet, out of which a large number of people are taking advantage of one or the other payment wallet like Paytm or GooglePay. Due to these apps, there is no need to go to the bank or ATM again and again and anyone can get the convenience of making payments from anywhere and at any time. A four digit PIN number has to be remembered to use the Mobile Banking option. Similarly, passwords have to be used to operate all other digital platforms, email or social media accounts. Memorizing too many passwords is a big problem.
If a light password is used, then there is a risk of account theft or hacking. Earlier it was thought that the most popular password in India is ‘123456’, but a recent report has revealed that it is not so, but the most popular password is ‘password’. The interesting thing is that in Japan also the same top password is used as in our country. According to a recent research by NordPass, a password management organisation, the other common passwords people use in India are Krishna, Sairam, iloveu, and Omsairam, among few others. In India, passwords with predictable numbers and based on the keyboard are especially popular. Often when you get a fibre connection in your home, the technical team will usually assign a simple password on your WiFi connection like 12345 so that you can remember it easily. However, you can change it later. Different variations of the keyboard of a computer or mobile phone were also ranked high in the lists of passwords research. All over the world, such combinations are quite popular.
Names and loving words were found to be popular in India. Similarly, 123456789, 12345678, india123, abc123, indya123, 123123, abcd1234 etc are some other common passwords. Similar trends have been seen in many countries in the list of Indian passwords. India is one of the few countries to have a different number one password – ‘password’, while 43 of the 50 countries included in the research have got the number one password 123456. The names are very popular among both men and women. Passwords with names are often like Priyanka, Sanjay, Rakesh. English loving words are also quite common, especially among women, such as ilovu, Sweetheart, Lovely, Sunshine, etc. Use a number and a unique letter at the beginning, end, or centre of your password to make it stronger and unique. Passwords can be difficult to remember, so note them down in your diary. If the password is made with 18 special characters then it will not be easy to hack it. It should use capital letters, digits and special symbols. Remember, passwords based on children’s names and birthdays are easily hacked.

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