Updated on October 1, 2022
Today, Kaspersky Lab, a global cybersecurity company, released its Q2 2021 mobile threat report for Southeast Asia (SEA), revealing a 60% increase in the number of malicious mobile banker attacks detected and blocked in the region.
Banking via mobile device Cybercriminals use Trojans – or bankers – to steal funds directly from mobile bank accounts.
These malicious programs frequently masquerade as legitimate financial applications.
Still, when a victim enters their security credentials to access their bank account, the attackers obtain access to that private information.
Since the start of 2021, Kaspersky products have averted 708 incidents across six Southeast Asian countries.
This already accounts for more than half of the total number of mobile bankers blocked in 2020, at 1,408.
Indonesia and Vietnam had the highest number of reported incidents in the first half of the year.
However, neither of these countries is among the top ten countries affected by this threat on a global scale.
Vietnam is currently ranked 27th, while Indonesia is ranked 31st as of June this year.
Russia, Japan, Turkey, Germany, and France have the highest mobile banking Trojan detections in Q2 2021.
While the number of mobile banking Trojan attacks in Southeast Asia remains low, with 367 incidents from April to June 2021 compared to 230 detections in the same period last year, the ongoing pandemic forces users to adopt mobile payment systems.
We are approaching the second year of the pandemic, which has accelerated the region’s adoption of mobile payments at a breakneck pace.
Our survey conducted at the start of this health crisis revealed that the majority of internet users in this region had shifted financial activities online, such as shopping (64 percent) and banking (47 percent),” says Yeo Siang Tiong, Kaspersky’s General Manager for Southeast Asia.
According to the same survey, seven in ten (69 percent) respondents expressed concern about conducting financial transactions online, and 42 percent expressed concern about someone gaining access to their financial information via their devices.
Additionally, another Kaspersky report titled “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy” discovered that the majority (76 percent) of 861 respondents from the Southeast Asian region confirmed their intention to keep their financial data off the internet.
The sentiment is strongest among Baby Boomers (85 percent), Gen X (81 percent), and Millennials (81 percent) (75 percent ).
Clearly, there is an awareness of the dangers of banking and payment transactions conducted via mobile devices. However, there is still a disconnect between knowledge and action.
To assist users in Southeast Asia in harnessing the power of their smartphones while also safeguarding their finances, we offer some practical tips but also encourage everyone to consider using security solutions as a safety net in case they accidentally clicked a malicious link or downloaded a rogue mobile banking application,” Yeo adds.
Here are some practical tips from Kaspersky for enhancing your online money’s security:
Get a temporary credit card
Cybercriminals have developed highly sophisticated malware techniques that occasionally undermine your best efforts to conduct safe online shopping.
As an added layer of security for secure online shopping, you can use a temporary credit card in place of your regular credit card to make online purchases.
Inquire with your credit card company about obtaining a temporary credit card number.
Avoid using these credit cards for purchases that require auto-renewal or recurring payments.
If obtaining a temporary credit card is not possible, use a credit card with a low credit limit.
Dedicate a computer solely for banking and shopping online
If you own more than one computer, it may be prudent to designate one solely for online banking and shopping.
By abstaining from any other Internet browsing, downloading, email checking, social networking, and other online activities, you can effectively create a ‘clean’ computer that is completely virus- and infection-free.
Install Google Chrome with forced HTTPS for added security when shopping online. This ensures that you only visit secure websites.
Use a dedicated email address
Create a separate email address for online shopping.
This significantly reduces the amount of spam you receive and the risk of opening potentially malicious emails masquerading as sales promotions or other notifications.
Manage and secure your online login credentials
Using strong passwords and a unique password for each online account is critical for safe online shopping.
We understand how difficult it can be to remember so many different passwords, even more so when they contain many letters, numbers, and special characters.
However, a password manager can assist you in maintaining strong passwords for multiple accounts.
Use a VPN
If you absolutely must shop online while connected to a public Wi-Fi network, you should first install a VPN (virtual private network).
A VPN encrypts all data sent between your computer or mobile device and the VPN server, preventing hackers from intercepting and viewing any sensitive information you input.
In the Philippines, Kaspersky endpoint solutions such as Kaspersky Total Security(KTS), which includes a password manager and VPN capabilities, are currently included in Shopee and Lazada‘s 9.9 promos.
Filipino customers can take advantage of a discount of up to 50%.
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