Safety tips on online shopping

Safety tips on online shopping

Online shopping has become the norm nowadays, providing individuals with convenience and a broad selection of offerings at varying prices. With this trend, many e-commerce platforms have appeared, and even physical stores have opened online shops to stay competitive. This allows people to purchase products from the comfort of their homes, changing the shopping experience.

However, as consumers increasingly rely on the virtual marketplace, the associated risks grow due to cybercriminals seizing the opportunity to employ classic or creative attack tactics for a quick payday. Malicious actors are even now leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to execute successful attacks, enhancing their frequency and volume. Without extra vigilance, consumers can easily fall victim to cyberattacks, including phishing, identity theft, and more.

In the Philippines, phishing, along with ransomware, stands out as the leading cyber threat. According to the 2023 Fortinet-IDC Asia-Pacific SecOps Survey, more than half of the surveyed organizations identified them as their top concerns. The report also revealed that identity theft is among the top five threats in the country.

For a safe and secure online shopping experience, here are simple cybersecurity best practices that Filipino consumers can adopt.

Practice good password hygiene

Individuals tend to employ the same password or password style across their different accounts, providing cybercriminals an opportunity to take advantage of this pattern and compromise user credentials. Users can enhance their security by ensuring their passwords are unique. Filipinos should avoid using personally identifiable information in their passwords, such as the name of their favorite movie, vacation spot, sports team, or celebrity. A strong password, consisting of at least 10 characters, includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Every account must have a distinct password to prevent attackers from gaining more access to private information in case they successfully acquire a user’s credentials. Filipinos can use a password manager to create lengthy and intricate passwords for each account.

Update app and devices regularly

Ensuring the operating system and software are up to date is critical for patching vulnerabilities in gadgets and applications, enhancing user security against potential attackers. Applying patches is essential, as it addresses the security vulnerabilities identified by developers in their products. When a patch is released, many systems notify users through push notifications to keep them informed about crucial updates.

Exercise caution with unrealistic deals

Individuals usually seek popular or difficult-to-find products with irresistible offers when shopping online. This reality makes it simpler for malicious actors to exploit unsuspecting consumers by devising schemes that bank on common emotions related to the fast-paced nature of online shopping.

When coming across exceptionally enticing deals, take a moment to examine them. Exercise caution with advertisements promoting counterfeit or fake items, heavily marked down or free products, and fraudulent websites.

Filipinos should opt for well-known and reputable websites when engaging in online shopping. If encountering unfamiliar brands, search the shop on a search engine to gather more information and verify its legitimacy. Additionally, when making purchases, use credit cards rather than debit cards, as they offer strong fraud protection and can be deactivated quickly in case of suspected fraudulent activities.

Avoid clicking links                      

When receiving a suspicious email or text message requesting updates on personal information, such as shipping details, users should carefully review these communications before accessing any links to prevent falling victim to phishing attacks. If uncertain about a link, it is advisable to check the URL. Filipinos can use a domain search engine, like, to verify the specific website.

As users adopt these best practices, organizations in the country can enhance user security by implementing measures, such as multi-factor authentication, to safeguard against cybercriminals. This security measure requires users to give multiple authentication factors to gain entry to their respective accounts, applications, and networks. The typical authentication factors include personal knowledge like a password, something owned, such as receiving a verification code on a mobile device, and inherent characteristics like fingerprint or voice.

By maintaining vigilance among Filipino consumers and strengthening security initiatives within organizations, we can collaboratively contribute to fostering a safer digital environment. This united front forms a powerful defense against evolving cyber threats. PR


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