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Thursday, November 23, 2023

Newsletter: Still an avid online shopper? 8 things you need to STOP doing now


The online sale events happening predictably every month, courtesy of the country's top e-commerce platforms, is a clear indication that online shopping is very much alive in the Philippines. With the irresistible lure of convenience and scoring bargain deals, Kaspersky recommends Filipino online shoppers not to stop shopping but to quit eight things to keep their money and personal details safe. 

Apart from receiving deceptive products, which is the number one complaint among local online shoppers, Filipino shoppers are also victimized by scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers. 

The usual modus operandi of these scammers includes selling products at unbelievably low prices or with juicy discounts or promos, insisting on immediate payment and not providing information on contact information and product returns. Armed with malicious programs called banking Trojans, cybercriminals steal personal data and payment details of online shoppers. 

One of the most prevalent and worrying mobile threats is mobile banking Trojans, which are used to hunt for data related to online banking and e-payment systems. Trojans are usually aiming at websites of clothing, jewelry and toys. These malware also seek out user accounts on websites of movie theaters, electronics stores and large online marketplaces.

This year, Kaspersky reported to have detected 196,476 mobile banking Trojan installers globally in 2022, which is twice more than in 2021 and the highest figure recorded within the past six years. There were also almost 20 million attacks via banking Trojans that steal payment data in 2022, doubling the figures in 2021. This shows that cybercriminals are keen to target more mobile users and are increasingly more interested in stealing financial data and actively investing in the creation of new malware, which potentially will result in more losses for their targets. 

“It's the best time of year and also the busiest for shoppers and cybercriminals alike. More shoppers mean more targets for cybercriminals,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky. 

"It's not always easy to spot a scam, especially if you are a shopper in a hurry. But we cannot ever let our guard down. We're listing below eight (8) common behaviors or easy traps that Filipino online shoppers usually walk into as they excitedly add to their shopping carts, forgetting that these would hurt them and their bank accounts in the long run. Remember, being forewarned is being forearmed," says Yeo.

1. Trusting open WIFI networks that require no passwords. Cybercriminals often create such networks to sniff users' personal data. Use a VPN to connect to public networks. 

2. Choosing simple, guess-able passwords. Pets’ names, birthdays, family names, and the like make for supremely insecure passwords. Instead, start with things other people are unlikely to guess, and use our password checker as a tool to help you learn to build better passwords.

3. Clicking links in emails. Who thought clickable links in email were a good idea? Well, lots of people — including criminals. Clicking on a link in spam or phishing email may take you to a site that automatically downloads malware to your computer or to a site that looks familiar but steals your password. At the very least, clicking will confirm to spammers that a person opened the message — it lets them know they found a mark.

4. Forgetting about device protection. Even the most vigilant users sometimes make mistakes. But there’s good news: website verification can be automated by using a reliable solution like Kaspersky Premium that automatically detects and blocks phishing sites in real-time. Kaspersky Premium has Identity Protection Wallet, Safe Browsing and Anti-phishing protection. 

5. Linking bank cards to online shopping accounts. Attackers love stealing accounts that are rarely used—this way, their actions go unnoticed for longer. It's advisable not to link a bank card to an online store account. If the service saves the card automatically, don’t forget to unlink it. In other cases, it’s safer to decline the “remember card” option and enter the numbers manually. That way, you’ll be less likely to lose money through a long-abandoned account with, let’s say, some online pet store where you once bought hamster food.

6. Paying with a debit card. With debit, the money loss will be pulled directly from your account. A credit card is not necessarily more secure than a debit card. But disputes are easier to settle with banks if a malicious transaction involves your credit card. 

7. Not using a separate card for online shopping. Get a separate card for online purchases with minimal funds on it. Even if attackers find out the details of this card, they still won’t get their hands on your main money source. It’s best to top up the card immediately before making a purchase and only by the amount you intend to spend.

8. Neglecting your payment history. Any unexpected debit, even of a tiny amount, should ring an alarm bell, because it may be scammers floating a trial balloon, or the first automatic payment for a subscription you didn’t ask for. Set up transaction notifications, and check your payment history regularly. If you spot something suspicious, call your bank immediately. 

This holiday season, Kaspersky offers discounts of up to 20% on Kaspersky security solutions on Lazada and Shopee so Filipinos can shop online with confidence and peace of mind. Visit to know more about Kaspersky Premium.


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