Cyber safety tips for mobile users ahead of Diwali

Fortinet on Monday reminded online shoppers and bargain hunters in the country to keep their mobile devices secure and stay vigilant against cybercriminals before participating in Alibaba’s 11/11 Singles’ Day, the world’s largest online shopping festival, and the ongoing Diwali festive sales.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Fortinet develops cyber security softwares, firewalls, anti-virus, intrusion prevention and endpoint security solutions and appliances.

Chinese e-com leviathan Alibaba’s upcoming annual Singles’ Day sale, which will take place on November 11, is expected to spark off numerous online retail carnivals across the Asia Pacific region. In 2017, the “11/11” carnival rewrote the record books when it generated $25.3 billion sales in a single day.

Due to high mobile phone penetration, consumers across APAC are increasingly relying on their smartphones and tablets to conduct online transactions from e-banking and e-payments to e-hailing and a myriad of online mobile shopping apps.
“Cyber criminals know that festivals season is the best time to collect personal data through threatware and malware of millions of people. People who shop on mobile phones will be more prone to cyber attacks than those who use PCs and laptops to do the same. That’s because when you have too many pop ups and advertisements and other things coming up on a tiny screen, you are likely to click a wrong site that will lead you to another unwanted location and finally you may land in the hands of a cyber attacker,’’ cautioned Rajesh Maurya, regional vice-president, India & SAARC, at Fortinet.

Mobile shopping is registering higher growth in APAC’s emerging markets, outpacing their more developed counterparts, found a study conducted by MasterCard. Consumers in the Philippines (53.5 per cent) and Malaysia (55.6 per cent) topped the region with the highest year-on-year growth while consumers in India (75.8 per cent) were the region’s top mobile shoppers, having made at least one purchase through their mobile phones in the three months preceding the survey. China’s mobile shoppers stood neck to neck with India at 71.4 per cent, followed by Thailand at 65 per cent, found the study.

Here are some practical tips for online shoppers from Fortinet:

*Keep your mobile phones updated right from operating system to firewalls and antivirus so that your devices are not easily vulnerable to cyber attacks. * Be extremely cautious while sharing credit/debit card details on websites, opt for multiple authentications before making a financial transaction.

*Stay alert to phishing attacks by not opening unsolicited emails or links.

*Visit only legitimate sites that come with a green padlock to ensure encrypted safety and security for your personal data.

*Try not to store your personal data as far as possible on websites. Never use the same password for too long.