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Online Shopping 101: Survival guidelines for safer holiday spending

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Before you start the year-end frenzy, check out these useful tips from Kaspersky

Malaysians equally love brick-and-mortar purchasing and online shopping.  A recent retail survey revealed that Malaysian leads in this region’s online shopping, with almost 22 million shoppers, to shop-hop as many as seven websites before making purchases. By end of 2021, nine of out of 10 Malaysians are expected to shop online.  Interestingly, the survey also shared that 63% do not know what they want to buy when they set out to browse. 

The year-end shopping begins with Black Friday, 12.12, Christmas and then New Year.      

Malaysia is seeing most states progressing in the National Recovery Plan (NRP), from phase two to three in Q3.  More states have since moved into phase four of NRP, and ahead of the festive seasons, many people are expected to flock both physical and online stores as well as start seeing and booking trips online, too. Such activities also open opportunities for cybercriminals.

For instance, Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) shows that Malaysia was on the top 10 targets of malicious mailings in Q3 this year. KSN also reported that Kaspersky’s solutions blocked more than 5.6 million redirects to phishing pages.   

Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky commented: “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, OTPs, passwords, and more.”

Kaspersky has the following tips on how to make online shopping as safe as possible:

  • Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, they usually are
  • Type the URL into your browser to check the deal on the website rather than clicking on links in emails
  • Look out for padlock sign or HTTPS in the address bar when paying.  Keep in mind that this padlock means safety only if the website address is correct, so check twice
  • Use a credit card rather than a debit card for extra payment protection
  • Avoid saving your card details to a website
  • Protect devices used for shopping and make sure you apply patches and updates as soon as possible
  • Use a unique, complex password for each of your online accounts