5 ways to protect your finances against malicious mobile bankers

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Mobile banking Trojans have increasingly become aggressive this year. Kaspersky’s mobile threat report for Q2 2021 showed a 60% increase in mobile banking Trojan attacks blocked in Southeast Asia versus the same period last year.

Mobile banking Trojans are used by cybercriminals to steal funds directly from mobile bank accounts. These malicious programs typically look like legitimate financial apps, but when a victim enters their security credentials to try to access their bank account, the attackers gain access to that private information.

Overall, since the beginning of 2021, Kaspersky products have foiled 708 incidents across six countries in SEA. Indonesia and Vietnam logged the most number of incidents during the first half of the year.

While the number of mobile banking Trojan attacks in SEA remains low—367 incidents from April to June 2021 versus 230 detections during the same period last year—the ongoing pandemic continues to force users to start using mobile payment systems.

Here are some practical tips from Kaspersky which you can do to beef up your money’s safety online:

Tip #1: Get a temporary credit card

Cybercriminals have developed incredibly sophisticated techniques and malware that can sometimes thwart your best efforts for safe online shopping. As another level of security for safe online shopping, you can use a temporary credit card to make online purchases, in lieu of your regular credit card. Ask your credit card company if you can be issued a temporary credit card number.

Just remember to avoid using these types of credit cards for any purchases that require auto-renewal or regular payments. If a temporary credit card is not possible, an alternative is to use a credit card with a low credit limit.

Tip #2: Dedicate a device to online banking and shopping

If you have more than one gadget, it may be wise to dedicate one for online banking and shopping only. By avoiding using the device for any other purpose, such as internet browsing, downloading, checking email, and social networking, you effectively create a ‘clean’ computer that is totally free of computer viruses and any other infections. For added security for safe online shopping, install Google Chrome, with forced HTTPS. This ensures you are visiting only secure websites.

Tip #3: Use a dedicated email address

Create an email address that you will use only for online shopping. This will severely limit the amount of spam messages you receive and significantly reduce the risk of opening potentially malicious emails that are disguised as sales promotions or other notifications.

Tip #4: Manage and protect your online passwords

Using strong passwords and using a different password for each online account is one of the most important things you can do for safe online shopping. To help you remember the passwords you’ve set for every account, you can use a password manager.

Tip #5: Use a VPN

If you absolutely must shop online while using public Wi-Fi, first install a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN will encrypt all data that is transferred between your computer or mobile device and the VPN server, preventing hackers from hijacking and viewing any sensitive data you input.

Kaspersky offers endpoint solutions like Kaspersky Total Security (KTS) that have a password manager and  VPN features. They are available for up to 50% discount during the 9.9 sale in Shopee and Lazada.

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