Fortinet, a global leader in broad, integrated and automated cyber security solutions, reminded online shoppers and bargain hunters 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 online shopping festive sale.
Alibaba’s upcoming annual Singles’ Day sale, which will take place on 11 November 2018, 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 US$25.3 billion sales in one day. Due to the high mobile phone penetration, consumers across APAC are increasingly relying on their smart mobile devices and tablets to conduct online transactions from e-banking and e-payments to e-hailing and a myriad of online mobile shopping apps.
According to Mastercard’s Mobile Shopping Survey 2017, mobile shopping is registering higher growth in APAC’s emerging markets, outpacing their more developed counterparts. Consumers in the Philippines (53.5 percent) and Malaysia (55.6 percent) topped the region with the highest year-on-year growth; while consumers in India (75.8 percent) was 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 remain a close second at 71.4 percent, followed by Thailand at 65 percent.
“India’s penchant for mobile shopping is expected to fuel a rise in cyberattacks and cyberscams, particularly as we enter year-end online shopping season in the coming weeks including the ongoing Diwali festive sale, the annual Singles’ Day e-retail carnival and Cyber Monday,” said David Maciejak, Director of Security Research, Fortinet.
Fortinet offers online holiday shoppers five safety tips to keep their mobile device secure:
- Create strong passwords and change them regularly – Often in the process of getting to information on mobile devices, there would be multiple prompts for passwords. Refrain from asking the devices to remember passwords. Create complex passwords instead of easily guessed ones such as “1234” or birthdays. Use different passwords for different programs, and take advantage of additional authentication methods.
- Store important data separately – Regularly back up and save data from mobile devices to removable media, and keep them in a different and secure location. When transportation is necessary, carry external storage media with other valuables such as wallet and keys, which you will naturally protect.
- Encrypt files – By encrypting files, unauthorized people and hackers cannot view data on the devices. For laptops, consider options for full disk encryption, which prevents a thief from even starting a laptop without a passphrase. When using encryption, it is important to remember passwords and passphrases; if one forgets or loses them, data may be lost.
- Install and maintain antivirus software – Install antivirus software across all mobile devices, and keep virus definitions up to date. If the antivirus software does not include anti-spyware software, consider installing separate software to protect against that threat.
- Install and maintain a firewall – It is crucial to restrict traffic coming into and leaving any Internet device. A firewall will help filter out which apps on the devices are allowed to interact with the Internet, and which are not.