How to keep your financial data safe online


Despite the huge boom in e-commerce during this pandemic, many social media users in Southeast Asia are still apprehensive about sharing their financial information online.

This is based on the study published by Kaspersky titled “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy” and conducted by research agency YouGov in Australia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam last November 2020.

From the 1,240 participants of the study, 861 prefer to keep their credit or debit card details away from the internet. The sentiment is highest among Baby Boomers aged 57 to 75 years old (85%), followed by Gen X or those between 41 to 65 years old (81%), and Millennials aged 25 to 40 years old (75%). Gen Z, currently between six to 24 years old, logs the lowest percentage with only 68% opting not to store their financial credentials online.

Southeast Asians on social media sites also prefer not to share their personally identifiable information or PII (69%), information about their immediate family (64%), their whereabouts (54%), and their jobs (47%) on their own account.

When it comes to the group of people they want to keep data away from, the respondents almost unanimously agreed it would be cybercriminals (73%) and random strangers online (61%).

“It is a welcome insight that users here are now thinking thoroughly about the data they share and don’t share online,” said Chris Connell, Kaspersky Asia Pacific Managing Director. “Most also know now that cybercriminals and the general online public should never get their hands on such information. Awareness, however, does not necessarily equate to action.”

Connell added that it is crucial to put awareness into action, as digital payments and other related services have risks attached to them.

How do you keep financial and personal data safe online?

Kaspersky experts suggest the following steps to secure your data both on social media and your mobile device.

On social media:
  • Avoid disclosing too much information, such as your date of birth or workplace in the bio section of your social media profile, as well as home address or phone number in any public forum.
  • Check if the social media platform you are using adds location data to your posts and if it does, turn the setting off.
  • Avoid the fun quizzes that occasionally do the rounds on social media. Often these can ask questions such as your favorite pet or where you went to school. These types of questions are often used as security questions, so making these answers public could make it easier for hackers to break into your online accounts.
  • Be wary of giveaways and contests. Many are legitimate but some are scams in disguise. By sharing them on social media, you could unknowingly spread malware or trick people into giving away their sensitive data.
On your mobile device:
  • Download apps and games only from legitimate app stores.
  • Don’t jailbreak or root your phone. It can give hackers a way to overwrite your settings and install their own malicious software.
  • Consider downloading an app that can delete all the data on your phone remotely so that if your phone is stolen, you can delete your information easily.
  • Stay up to date with any software updates and be careful about clicking on links online.
  • Install combined security products that can minimize threats and keep your data safe online, such as the Kaspersky Security Cloud, Kaspersky Internet Security, and Kaspersky Password Manager.

Read next: Facebook won’t notify you if you’re part of its data breach. Here’s what you can do


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