New Delhi: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has advised users to use Aadhaar confidently and observe the same level of usage hygiene as for any other identity documents including a Bank account, PAN or Passport.

Aadhaar is a resident’s digital ID, and it works as a single source of online and offline identity verification for residents across the country.

Aadhaar number is being used by residents to verify and validate identity credentials either electronically or through offline verification and cybercriminals are using it to dupe gullible people.

“While sharing Aadhaar with any trusted entity, the same level of caution may be exercised which one does at the time of sharing Mobile number, Bank account number or any other identity document like Passport, Voter ID, PAN and Ration Card,” UIDAI advised the general public.

To protect users from misusing unique number, the UIDAI also provides a facility for generating a Virtual Identifier (VID) in case a resident is not comfortable sharing his/her Aadhaar number. VID can be generated in two ways – visiting the official website or via myaadhaar portal. It can be changed after the end of the calendar day.

UIDAI also provides the facility of Aadhaar locking as well as biometric locking. If a resident is not likely to use Aadhaar for a period of time, he or she may lock Aadhaar or biometrics for such a time period. The same can be unlocked conveniently and instantly, as and when required, Authority further added.

The UIDAI provides a technologically advanced ecosystem to ensure safe, smooth and speedy authentication experience to the Aadhaar number holder.

A resident can check Aadhaar authentication history for the last six months on the UIDAI website or m-Aadhaar app. Also, UIDAI intimates about every authentication over email. Therefore, linking email Id with Aadhaar will ensure that a resident gets an intimation every time his or her Aadhaar number is authenticated.

Several services can be availed with OTP-based Aadhaar authentication.

UIDAI urges residents not to leave Aadhaar letter / PVC Card, or its copy thereof, unattended. Residents are advised not to share Aadhaar openly in the public domain, particularly on social media and other public platforms. Aadhaar holders should not disclose Aadhaar OTP to any unauthorized entity and refrain from sharing m-Aahaar PIN with anyone.

In case of suspicion of any unauthorized use of Aadhaar or for any other Aadhaar-related query, Aadhaar holders may contact UIDAI on the toll-free helpline 1947 which is available 24×7.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.