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Education is the Key to Improving Regulatory Compliance and Customer Confidence January 19, 2009 - Linda McGlasson, Managing Editor Share
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5 billion in assets and operates in seven states. as well as a video on ID theft. says Scott Coghill. branch personnel. "Our goal is to keep that information current and relevant. Information Security Department at the Milwaukee-based financial services corporation. the bad guys will try to look for opportunities to take unfair advantage of situations. Vice President. Customer awareness is a huge priority for Wisconsin's largest bank. information on free ID theft assistance protection. This online information is supplemented by customer brochures at bank branches. These are among the top 2009 agenda items for the M&I Corporation in Wisconsin ." Click to Get Updates on the Latest Information Security News Top of Form 1164 register http://w w w .not just to fight the threats. tips on how to recognize online and email fraud. but to make customers more aware of them.Comment on this article Phishing. community bankers and other areas of customer contact whenever we post an alert regarding a new phishing or malware scam that could be of interest to people. "We periodically send out flyers in their monthly statements. requiring strong awareness programs for employees and customers alike. ID theft resources and an ID theft prevention checklist. which has $63. CISM. M&I has a dedicated web page for its customers with an outline of the most important security messages and updates." Coghill says. he adds. "With the way the economy is today. a section describing how M&I is protecting its customers. and we provide the same information to our call center. malware and the Nigerian 404 scam. The awareness program in place is a strong.bank noUsernameNeed tmpPassw ord200 Company* Subscription Type: Title* Healthcare Enews Email* • General Healthcare Enews . It also offers key tips in ID theft fraud protection." Coghill says.
• Blogs Enews • Careers Enews • Training Enews • Webinars Enews • Podcasts Enews • White Papers Enews Government Enews • General Government Enews • Blogs Enews • Careers Enews • Training Enews • Webinars Enews • Podcasts Enews • White Papers Enews Banking Enews • General Banking Enews • Blogs Enews • Careers Enews .
not scare them away). and what do customers really want and need to know? .how much is too much (you want to educate customers.• Training Enews • Webinars Enews • Podcasts Enews • White Papers Enews Credit Union Enews • General Credit Union Enews • Blogs Enews • Careers Enews • Training Enews • Webinars Enews • Podcasts Enews • • White Papers Enews Need Help? Bottom of Form The Awareness Mandate Customer awareness on information security issues has always been a tricky equation for many institutions .
2. "Whether it's identity protection services. Make It Team Effort . "[And] you have to make the information readily available. detection and resolution are customer care issues.At M&I. Be ready to give them the assistance they need. you need to discuss the same common threats. Financial services companies need to show consumers "what's in it for me" when it comes to online banking. Measure the Program's Effectiveness . Therefore. an annual security survey is conducted to gather information regarding effectiveness of the awareness message and the interests regarding security from employees. More Regulatory Pressure . according to Javelin Strategy & Research. They need guidance." he says." Coghill says.Education and awareness of customers and staff on information security topics has long been required by banking regulators. social engineering and general information . Here are what industry experts and practitioners recommend as key elements of your customer awareness program: 1." Wallace notes. consumers want and need resources to protect themselves. consumer education or fraud remediation services. and the new ID Theft Red Flags Rule only underscores the criticality of demonstrating such programs to examiners." he says. Internally. 4. says M&I's Coghill.There are direct correlations between awareness programs for employees and customers. a non-profit company supported by 44 large financial services companies.Banking institutions are the first place many banking customers turn to when they have a question about online security or fraud. "Consumers continue to cite security as the main reason they don't bank online. "Feedback from new employees has been quite positive regarding the brochure and articles. Keep It Relevant . President of Identity Theft Assistance Center.But looking back on 2008's recession. 3. financial services companies must do a better job of telling customers what they are doing to protect them. Offer More Tools and Resources . These findings are presented to management along with any suggestions for follow-up or new strategies.Whether through online banking or mobile devices." she says. "Fraud prevention. increasing numbers of customers are doing their banking electronically and are just as increasingly vulnerable to threats. You don't want conflicting or separate messages. the case is clear to financial institutions: Customer awareness must be an important part of an overall information security education program. data breaches and industry-wide crisis of confidence. With both groups. The brochures outline the importance of keeping customer data safe and the responsibilities of all employees to the security of customer data." she adds. The customer awareness information on the website or in brochures "also has to be similar to the information the customer would receive if they contact our customer call center. easy and interesting to learn and reference. Two compelling reasons to dedicate more resources to customer awareness in 2009: More Electronic Users . and consumer adoption is holding steady at about 35 percent. says Anne Wallace. however financial services companies fall short of communicating what is being done on the customer's behalf. the information security team measures the effectiveness of its customer awareness program by soliciting feedback from customers who directly contact the institution.The key messages for all information security awareness for customers should cover the big issues .phishing. The bank's HR department hands out customer information security brochures to all new hires during the orientation program.
" Wills notes. 6. The only people who can effectively secure these devices are the customers themselves. Whether starting or jump-starting an awareness program. Build Upon on the Basics . Where and how to contact the institution for information on any issues or to report anything suspicious.Customer awareness by the spoonful isn't the way to go." says Tom Wills." Herold explains. says information security and privacy expert Rebecca Herold. This approach will no longer hold water in 2009. "and it's up to the banks to show them via aggressive educational programs. "But in order to do so. "Institutions can provide the best security in the world." Implementing a security awareness center on the bank website. What the institution is doing to protect their information. Wills offers. How to prevent credit/debit card fraud. How to protect desktops from malware. and so securing customers' PCs and mobile devices against malware is more important than ever.but the customers have an important role to play as well. and providing incentives to install and run antivirus software are just three ways to achieve this. especially when in public. ID theft and privacy issues. Fraud & Compliance at Javelin Strategy & Research. "Customers have to be diligently careful to safeguard their own information on their own computers. Keep the Information Coming . Institutions can also "deputize" customers by implementing email or SMS alerts to quickly notify them when unusual activity takes place on their accounts. "Institutions are often reluctant to educate their customers about security threats. Security.security practices. Keylogging Trojans are fast becoming the identity thieves' weapon of choice. Non-biased explanation of consumer products for ID Theft protection/monitoring. "Customers are now unmistakably at the front line of bank information security. their information could become compromised as a result of their own actions and lack of good security. but if customers do not also provide their own safeguards." he says. they need to know how. Making it a team effort between the institution and the customer makes it easy for the customer to understand that the institution does its part to protect them -." Wills says. these are the fundamental elements of a successful program: Basic education about security. including security messages in marketing and PR campaigns. How ID theft happens and general protections from it. Senior Analyst." 5. .Customer awareness needn't be all that complicated to offer. for fear of either scaring them away or tipping off the bad guys to a vulnerability that they might exploit. so there's really no excuse for banks not to help them do this any more. "Consumer research has consistently shown that customers are willing and able to participate in securing their accounts against fraud.
The advancement of technology and advent of sophisticated gadgets in the market and aggressive marketing strategies in the era of globalization have not only thrown open a wide choice. the Government of India and State Government have initiated steps to introduce dispute redressal mechanism by way of Consumer Protection Ac. In order to be able to position the consumer in such a state. the consumer should be empowered with respect to his rights as a consumer. where there is wide spread illiteracy. There is an urgent and increasing necessity to educate and motivate the consumer to be wary of the quality of the products. He should undertake steps to create a facilitative mechanism with the following objectives: 1. He should be equipped to be vigilant with a discerning eye so as to be able to protect himself from any wrongful act on the part of the trader.CONSUMER AWARENESS & SUGGESTED MEASURES TO INCREASE CONSUMER AWARENESS The need for empowerment of consumers as a class cannot be over emphasized and is already well recognized all over the world. there is every need not only to evolve legal remedies but also provide reliable and exhaustive information. for the consumer but all the same also rendered the consumer vulnerable to a plethora of problems concomitant to such rapid changes. In short. Promote General Awareness of the rights of the consumer by encouraging consumer education and supplying information. This becomes more important in the rural areas. . and also the possible deficiencies in the services of the growing sector of public utilities. Recognizing the importance of the problem. but a lot more has to be done in the area of creating awareness on the part of the consumer to facilitate his seeking suitable remedy wherever there is a need. which he can access without much effort and expense.
analyze and suggest new measures for the effective and better consumer protection. 11. Organize a database enabling the consumer retrieve the required information in a less expensive and quick way. 3. Organize and conduct seminars. non-banking financial agencies etc. slides. workshops and group discussions and thus provide a platform for threadbare discussion of the issues and evolve suitable remedial action. Interact with national level organizations like NISIET. . 7. 8. traders and policy makers to exchange information of mutual interest for better coordination. cassettes. to explore possible collaboration and organize awareness programmes for their clientele and undertake research projects. National and International Consumer Organizations. would go a long way in acheiving this. State Legal Aid Authorities. Encourage consumer activities to strengthen the existing institutional set up of consumer dispute redressal by acting as a facilitator between consumer and the institution.ap. Bring together the consumer. highlighting the problem in specified areas like real estate. Consumer affairs. Coordinate programmes organized by Central and State Governments. redressal agencies and mechanisms.nic to publish information. NIRD. 4. 5. articles. ASCI etc.2. Food & Civil Supplies Dept. on product analysis and related matters for the guidance of consumers to have informed choice of product services.P. Set up a website http://scdrc. Publish periodical and product specific booklets. CDs. news including judgments. 6. Periodic interaction with electronic & print media on success stories of consumers. Enlighten the business community on its ethical and legal obligations to maintain quality of the products or services and to be transparent in dealing with consumers. documentary films and other devices of mass communication for promoting consumer awareness in English and regional languages. 12. Conduct motivational campaigns for groups of potential customers both in urban and rural areas. colleges. Bring together the NGO’s/Consumer activities operating in different areas and equip them with suitable and required nformation and knowledge to enable them to act as nodal agents of change in rural areas. public utilities. Consumer clubs which were started recently by the A. Academic Institutes. Study the available legal remedies. high schools to emphasize the need for improving consumer education in the curriculum. Establish links with educational institutions like universities. 9. pamphlets. 10.
which has taken a lead in introducing progressive legislation for consumer protection. Gandhiji in the light of the above rightly said about consumer and his rights as the following: “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. ? Right to information: To know the quality. quantity. 1986 was processed and enacted in India soon after the UN declaration. ? Right to Choose: To be assured. He is not dependent on us. weight and the price of goods/services being paid for. access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices. State and District levels to promote and protect the consumer rights. ? Right to Consumer Education: To have access to consumer education. We are dependent on him. Consumer Protection and Consumer Awareness. India is a country. 1986. Government has accorded top priority to ‘Consumer Education. He is not an interruption in our work – he is the purpose of it. ? Right to Seek Redressal: To seek legal redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices or exploitation. He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve him. 1986 The Act enshrines all the consumers rights which are internationally accepted.” It was therefore most appropriate that the Consumer Protection Act. that perhaps cannot be paralleled anywhere else in the World. consumer protection councils have been established at Central. They are: ? Right to Safety: To be protected against the sale of goods and services which are spurious/ hazardous to life. The Act applies to all goods and services unless specially exempted by the Central Government. so that one is not cheated by unfair trade practices. in all sectors whether Private.Jago Grahak Jago An Initiative towards Consumer Education and Awareness 25 December 2008 One Comment internet advertising 25 Dec :An enlightened consumer is an empowered consumer. wherever possible. An aware consumer not only protects himself from exploitation but induces efficiency. transparency and accountability in the entire manufacturing and services sector. As per the Act. Public or Co-operative. Consumer Protection Act. The Act has set in motion a revolution in the field of consumer rights. The most important milestone in Consumer Movement in the country has been the enactment of the Consumer Protection Act. Basic Framework for Consumer Protection . ? Right to be heard: To be heard and to be assured that the interest would receive due consideration at appropriate fora. Realising the importance of consumer awareness.
weights and measures.01. Expiry date on medicine. simple.R. As part of the consumer awareness scheme. Government has taken up number of activities and schemes in creating consumer awareness in the country as part of this Consumer Awareness Scheme. Standard could be on technical requirement (specifications). Multi Media Publicity Campaign As part of the Multi Media publicity campaign. consumer awareness and education is the main building block for consumer protection. Alternate Dispute. (Maximum Retail Price). Planning Commission has identified consumer awareness. 409 crores has been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 24. MRP. The Consumer Protection Act enacted in 1986 has been recognised as one of the finest basis of legislation enacted in any part of the world and India can boast of being the only country having such specialised legislation for consumer protection. In a big country like India. Standards which are the essential building block for quality play a key role in consumer protection. Consumer Awareness Scheme in the XI Plan The Consumer Awareness Scheme for the XI Plan amounting to a total of Rs. quasi judicial machinery at the National. Issues pertaining to rural and remote areas have been given prominence in the various advertisement spots. Redressal system. Telecast of advertisement in North Eastern states in Regional languages of 20 seconds and 30 seconds duration on various consumer related issues such as M. The Department in consultation with the Department of Post has disseminated consumer awareness messages through Meghdoot Post cards to reach far-flung rural areas including North . State and District level for hearing cases raised by consumers. educating the consumers remains a gigantic task. This scheme has been formulated to give an increased thrust to a multi media publicity campaign to make consumers aware of their rights. codes of practice or test methods or management systems standards. the activities being undertaken are: Publicity through print media using news paper advertisements. Firstly ensuring a legal framework that comprises of Consumer Protection Act.08. to educate the consumers about their rights and responsibilities. Secondly. improved specific standard terminology (glossary of terms). Through the increased thrust on consumer awareness in the XI Five Year Plan. The slogan ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ has now become a household name as a result of publicity campaign undertaken in the last 3 years. the rural and remote areas have been given top priority. redressal and enforcement of Consumer Protection Act as a priority agency for action by the Deptt. given the scenario of economic disparity and level of education and ignorance. The CPA has a three tier. Publicity through electronic medium by telecast of video spots of 30 seconds duration on various consumer related issues such as Grievance Redressal system. The allocation for consumer protection activities was significantly enhanced in the last 2 years of the X Plan. Short Measurement. The standards are set generally by Government or interGovernmental bodies but world wide it is being recognised that voluntary establishment of standards plays an equally important role for protecting consumers. ISI Hall-Mark. the Government has endeavoured to inform the common man of his rights as a consumer. damaged product and redressal system. Rights of Consumers etc. Thirdly. of Consumer Affairs. evolving standards for different products to enable the consumers to make an informed choice about different products. National Action Plan on Consumer Protection Consequent upon the 50th National Development Council Meeting.P.Consumer protection initiatives by the Government hinge on 3 basic parameters. adulteration.
East States. the flagship publication of Publication Division. the Department displayed its activities through a stall in IIPA. Nukkad Nataks are being performed in consultation with Song & Drama division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting . a major initiative is being taken to spread consumer awareness through the online medium. Through the various advertisements pertaining to Department of Consumer Awareness adequate publicity has been given to National Helpline so that the affected consumers could seek guidelines/counselling through the national helpline.M. A bigger plan of partnership with the Department of Posts to use the vast network of postal department for spreading the message of consumer awareness has been chalked out Calendars containing the message of consumer awareness are being displayed through the vast network of 1. to 5-30 P. ISI.fcamin. Indo-Pak Series. Consumer Resource kit as well pocket calendars and posters is being distributed during various events such as IITF. Indo.in. A pilot project National Consumer Help Line initiated can be accessed through a Toll Free Number 1800-11-4000 which is being operated by Delhi University for counselling the Consumers to redress their grievances. The Department through Printed Literature is also creating awareness. Bal Bharti. Advertisements are being carried in journals of Publication Division such as Yojana. the Department has telecast video spots containing consumer related information during the popular sports events such as Tri-series cricket tournament. Participation in India International Trade Fair Keeping in view the large number of visitors to India International Trade Fair. Standardisation.nic. Indo-Australia Series. The youngsters are using the internet in a big way for various purposes and also happen to be major consumers. The advertisements being brought out by the Department are also being displayed on the website of the Ministry www. The timing of toll free number facility is available to consumers from 9-30 A. Focussed articles on consumer awareness are being published in these magazines keeping in view their target readership.M. Hall Marking and other issues of consumer interest was distributed free of cost. Employment News. Kurukshetra. Weights & Measures. . India is a country with more than 70% population being under 35 years. Publicity material regarding main provisions of Consumer Protection. A folder entitled “Consumer Awareness Mission” containing the salient features of Consumer Protection Act 1986. On the spot guidance was also given to consumers during the Trade Fair. More than 1000 programmes in all the States/UTs have been organised to create awareness at grass root level. Aajkal and their regional editions. In order to reach maximum number of consumers.55 lakhs post offices. which is the largest selling career weekly of its kind occasionally publishes articles that are of interest to youngsters in keeping them informed about their rights. The advertisements of Department are also published regularly in Employment News/Rojgar Samachar so that the youth of the country are made aware of their consumer rights. on all the working days (Monday—Saturday). Realizing this.England Cricket Series etc. Nukkad Nataks and also through the State Governments at grass root level. The publicity material relating to consumer awareness has also been translated in regional languages and is being disseminated to various State Governments.
To achieve this objective joint campaigns have been undertaken/are being undertaken with a number of Government Departments. A joint campaign with National Pharmaceuticals Product Authority is being devised to educate consumers about the various issues concerning pharma industry. State/UT Governments have been actively associated in expanding the area of consumer awareness. to the State Governments/UTs for distribution through panchayats in the rural areas. campaigns with Reserve Bank of India. and magazines etc. The Department of Consumer Affairs provided publicity material such as posters. . The Future Roadmap The multi media publicity to educate consumers and make them aware about their rights will have a long lasting impact not only on the end consumers but also on the entire manufacturing and services sector.Joint Campaign ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ has become the focal theme through which issues concerning the functioning of almost all Government Departments having a consumer interface can been addressed. FICCI. remote and backward areas. video.e. In fact the effectiveness of the scheme is enhanced by the involvement of States/UTs/PRIs. The provision for grant in-aid/support to States/UTs has been one of the key components of the Consumer awareness scheme. The scheme will go a long way in introducing greater accountability and transparency in the services provided by the public as well as private sector since the end user i. audio. The Department had run a joint campaign with Bureau of Energy Efficiency to educate people about energy conservation by having awareness of the BEE star labels. Special scheme on assistance to State Governments/UTs Considering the fact that active involvement of State Governments in awareness campaign is crucial in taking forward the movement to rural. a consumer will be educated and aware enough to ask for best possible services in return of his hard earned money. folders. calendars. Similarly. Ministry of Urban Development (for real estate sector) and HRD (for education sector) are being planned. ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ is thus an initiative which empowers consumers by making them aware about their rights as well as the Grievance Redressal Mechanism.
Consumer awareness can be as simple as a shopper remembering a television commercial or as specific as a customer delving into the manufacturing origins of a specific product. Roberts. service or business. Considerations 2. a healthy economic environment is established in which customers are informed and protected and businesses are accountable. 2009 I want to do this! What's This? According to the Longman Business English Dictionary. Consumer awareness plays a key role in customer decision making.Importance of Consumer Awareness By Holly L. eHow Contributor updated: October 12. consumer education is an ongoing process that considers a variety of . By increasing a potential or current customer's knowledge about a product. consumer awareness is a term used to describe the awareness of a potential or current buyer about a particular product or company. According to research at Eastern Michigan University's Consumer Education Center. Function 1.
S. Agencies 5. Media awareness also encompasses independent product reviews online or in print publications. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees complaints about unsafe products that can cause injury or death. services and companies. Consumer awareness benefits society by promoting customer satisfaction. reputation. The U. including price. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) takes complaints about unsafe foods. One benefit of consumer awareness is that it creates a knowledge of companies or products that can cause potential problems. Cost awareness involves comparing the prices of a similar product among different competitors.S. Benefits 3.factors. Local Better Business Bureaus field complaints about companies. Read more: Importance of Consumer Awareness | eHow. There are several agencies that take complaints about products. The study at Eastern Michigan University found several significant benefits to consumer awareness for both individuals and society as a whole.ehow. Media awareness involves a customer's knowledge of the advertising surrounding a given product or company. improved life skills and increased self-confidence. medications and cosmetics. personal knowledge. There are several different types of consumer awareness. increasing economic stability and creating realistic customer expectations.com http://www. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles the same complaints on a national level.com/about_5518342_importance-consumerawareness. The benefits of consumer awareness for individuals include enhanced critical thinking. The U.html#ixzz0z5ISBnZ6 . Types 4. social issues and other factors. history. charities and other businesses on a local level.
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