Have yourself a merry, safe online shopping experience

Cover art Paolo Lacambra Lopez


Words by

Digital Reporter

Sometimes, last-minute shopping during the holidays season is unavoidable. But between the heavy traffic and e-commerce platforms like Lazada beginning to improve their logistics to achieve one-day deliveries or provide premium services, going online for your late holiday buys has never been more attractive.

According to Kaspersky Lab’s Money Report 2018, online shopping is one of the most popular internet activities. However, most consumers tend to forget that online shopping also has its pitfalls.

Kaspersky’s latest report notes that while 93 percent of internet users are aware of financial cyberthreats, some 32 percent already have already had their financial credentials stolen, with 26 percent never recovering their stolen money.

“Technology has made shopping so much convenient that it can now be done virtually without ever physically carting the goods in stores,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager at Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia.

“As Filipinos become inclined to get into more online transactions that involve using their personal and financial data, the more reasonably they should be cyber-savvy,” Yeo said.


To protect oneself against falling victim to cyber attacks while shopping online, Yeo noted that one doesn’t have to be overly technical.

“Being cyber-savvy means becoming more aware of how to keep safe online. Essentially, it means using one’s smarts to beat potential attackers online,” Yeo said.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping online:

Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi

As much as possible, use your phone’s data or your own internet at home. Since public Wi-Fi in the Philippines is highly unprotected, cybercriminals will find it easy to steal your credentials by infiltrating these wireless networks.

Ensure your gadgets and accounts are extra-secure

Aside from using cybersecurity products and anti-virus protocols, make sure to choose a strong, secure password. Combine letters, numbers and special characters for your password in these e-commerce sites to make it harder to hack.

Kaspersky Lab also said that bluetooth and connect-via-cellular settings should also be turned off when not in use to make the smartphone connection more secure.

Shop at safe sites

With so many e-commerce sites sprouting out, make sure to double-check if these are reputable businesses. Check the URL and read up on the platform before browsing on the platform.

Some sites will also host suspicious freeware, which promises “gifts”, according to Kaspersky Lab. These programs may simply be a guise for adwares or malwares.

Avoid ransomware and be aware of phishing links

Kaspersky Lab warned not to open email attachments from unknown shopping sites, as these could host malware that can creep into your system. To be safe, make sure to frequently backup your files.

Likewise, don’t click on unexpected links sent through email, text, or social media sites.

Avoid forged shipping confirmation emails

Phishers can use forged shipping confirmation emails to target unsuspecting victims. These look like the real thing but a little double-checking can easily help you spot that it’s not.

Simple typos such as the email address reading “xxyy@amazeon.com” instead of “xxyy@amazon.com” immediately shows that it’s fake.