Cybersecurity firm gives tips to confidently shop online

WITH Christmas season just around the corner, cybersecurity solutions and digital privacy firm Kaspersky reminds Filipino consumers anew to remain cautious when shopping online as cybercriminals double their efforts this season of holiday shopping.

According to a recent survey conducted by Kaspersky, Filipinos are the top new e-cash adopters in the Asia Pacific region at 37 percent followed by India (23 percent) and Australia (15 percent). Survey respondents from the region said they have used digital payments due to convenience.

But with the rise of digital adoption comes the rise of cyberthreats. Kaspersky said this digital adoption is where cybercriminals are directing their efforts to. The recently reported sim-swap incident worth almost P2 million in just one attempt is an example.

Sim-swap is a scam used to intercept online banking SMS verification codes. To get hold of one-time passwords for financial transactions, cybercriminals create or fraudulently obtain a copy of the victim’s SIM card from the mobile operator.

“The pandemic has triggered more people to embrace online shopping. Although physical safety is essential, the safety of our finances, devices and information is also important, especially as phishing scams become more and more sophisticated and targeted. We expect cybercriminals to continue using tricks that will lure more victims to take the bait hence this festive season, we urge everyone to put their guards up against messages, calls, and even emails asking for critical information such as account number, one-tome PINs, passwords, and more,” said Chris Connell, managing director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky in a statement.

Tips to confidently shop

Kaspersky advised online shoppers to stick to familiar brands they know or heard of. If one is checking out a new brand, research it carefully and get its contact details like email, phone number, or address. Also, look for its return policy and feedback history which are good indicators of honesty and credibility.

Online accounts should also be off limits to children and restrict them from accessing credit card and bank information. Kaspersky also advised online shoppers to consider getting an antivirus or anti-malware protection for devices.

When ordering online, Kasperksy also advised to not give out more information than is necessary to complete the purchase.

“Never share personal information over the phone unless you made the call. Never reply to any unsolicited request for personal information such as passwords, credit cards, or bank account numbers,” it said.

Make payments online using safe and trusted methods.

When completing the online transaction, Kaspersky advised to always log off, especially if it is a shared device. It also advised to keep a paper trail-- print and save records of online transactions and read credit card statements once received to check for unauthorized charges.


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