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8 Tips to Shop Online Safely

This is a guest post from Secuna, the premier Cybersecurity Testing Platform in the Philippines.

Shopping online takes only a couple of clicks to order a product, compare prices, and have it delivered to your front door. Convenient, Easy, and Hassle-free.

However, the growth in online shopping popularity has brought an increase in cybercriminals’ malicious activities that target consumers, particularly this pandemic quarantine.

This article will give you tips on how to protect yourself.

1. Double-check the website address and make sure it has “https://”

Most of the cybercriminals are developing bogus websites with almost-the-same links or website addresses.

This kind of method allows them to perform identity theft or credit card fraud by asking you to complete a checkout process on a fake website.

Make sure you are visiting and install HTTPS Everywhere browser extension to only access secure websites.

2. Make sure your browser, apps, software and operating system are updated

Outdated browsers, apps. software, and operating systems are possibly vulnerable. They could be used by cybercriminals as an entry point to perform malicious activities.

Updating your software fixes security and privacy issues that protect your personal information.

3. Keep your accounts secure with Password Manager

Most people are simply reusing the same password for each account, and that in itself is a major security risk.

We highly recommend you to use Password Manager that generates strong passwords and stores your passwords securely.

Additionally, enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) will also help you secure your account.

4. Skip the Debit Card and use Credit Card or Virtual/Temporary Card instead

Credit cards have certain extra-legal defenses built in to make them safer to buy stuff than debit cards. With credit cards, if someone does fraudulent credit card transactions, you are not responsible as long as you report the fraud promptly. It’s, after all, the money from the bank, not yours.

In addition, credit cards give you leverage when it comes to disputing transactions with a seller. If you pay with your debit card, you can’t get your money back unless the seller agrees.

Lastly, if possible, it is better to use temporary cards such as GCash’s card or Paymaya Card. These temporary cards can be useful for one-time purchases.

5. Create and use a dedicated email address for online shopping

One of the best practices in cyber security and privacy is to create a dedicated email address for online shopping. Having a dedicated email address can help reduce your risk of opening potentially malicious emails.

6. Lock your smartphone

One of the perks of online shopping is that you can do it anytime and anywhere using your smartphones. So make sure you have security measures like using a passcode to access your smartphone.

Better practice logging out to online shopping apps after using them, and don’t let apps remember your usernames, passwords, or credit card information.

7. Privatize your network

If possible, avoid connecting to public WiFi and use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to make it harder for others on your network to see what you do online. VPNs can also obscure your location or help you access sites and services that may otherwise be blocked.

Avoid Free VPNs because some of them share or sell the data they collect about the sites you visit and apps you use or use that collected data to target you with ads.

8. Exercise your Data Privacy Rights as a Data Subject

Under RA10173 or Data Privacy Act of 2012, people whose personal information is collected, stored, and processed are called data subjects.

So as a data subject, you may file a complaint with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) if you feel that your personal information (PI) or sensitive personal information (SPI) has been maliciously disclosed, incorrectly disposed, or if any of your privacy rights have been violated.

This article has been written by AJ Dumanhug from Secuna, one of the leading security companies in the Philippines. Metrodeal and Secuna have been working together to make sure to consistently deliver you a safe experience while purchasing your deals.

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