Editor’s Note: This content is sponsored by GCash and has been produced by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the editorial staff or editorial staff participated in the production of this article.
With just a few clicks on your phone, 12 Days of Christmas Presents isn’t such a difficult feat. Christmas shopping has just never been easier, and we’re sure Santa will have a hard time keeping up with all the demand.
But with so many last minute shopping as the holidays draw near, it’s easy to forget to do your due diligence when browsing online.
Always remember that to keep your account safe, you must take steps to protect yourself!
You must be :
- G to be informed – by learning the steps to protect your account
- G be Protected – by playing an active role in securing your account
- G to Share – informing others about security measures
And how exactly do you protect your accounts?
Create stronger pins and passwords
It’s 2021! If you are still using 1234 or your birthday as your PIN or password, it is high time you removed it. These are some of the most predictable codes to use, and you’re essentially inviting a hacker into your account if you’re still using it.
A strong password is a mixture of numbers, letters and special characters. That would make it harder to crack. You can even take it up a notch by using a passphrase instead of a password!
If you’re wondering if your passphrase is strong enough or if you will be able to remember it, we’ve got a few tips that can make it less intimidating for you.
- Make it easy to remember with relevance. It can be based on an event, your favorite song, a short line from a poem, or whatever you have.
- Do the same for a set of numbers. This could be your favorite athlete’s jersey number or a totally random set that you can memorize. Just make sure it’s not easy to predict.
- Create a passphrase using your chosen phrase and numbers, add special characters and change the case a bit.
For example, instead of 1234beautiful, it could be 72_BeautifulD @ y_27. And for other passwords, you can use variations of this combination or completely new ones.
If it is too difficult to find your own password, there are also password managers that can generate random strong ones for you. These programs also store your passwords in an encrypted server and can automatically populate login portals whenever needed.
Finally, never share your passwords with anyone.
Use two-factor authentication
Most logins now allow you to use two-factor authentication. This is a security feature where, in addition to logging into an account using a password, you also receive a one-time password sent to your mobile device or address. E-mail. There are also two-factor authentication apps like Google Authenticator.
What it does for you is that it adds an extra layer of protection, while also ensuring that you are notified for each access attempt. Check if any of the apps or accounts you use offer this feature and make sure to turn it on.
Buy from reputable apps or websites
When shopping online, it is always better to buy from well-known and official websites and their official apps.
A good rule of thumb would be to look for a padlock icon next to the address bar if you’re visiting a website, but that’s not always guaranteed. You can also check if the website looks suspicious, for example if there are any visible flaws, incorrect grammar, typos, or if it is an unrecognizable link.
If it can be helped, in-app purchases can be safer, as most developers require security certificates if downloaded through the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.
Don’t click on suspicious email links
See a cool promo in your email? Check the sender first! If there is something wrong with the email address, it would be in your best interest to flag it as spam or delete the email forever. Some fake addresses today look like official addresses. Take a look at your previous emails first and compare them with the most recent ones for good measure.
It only takes one click on a questionable link to infect your computer or account. If you feel like you have fallen prey to this, be sure to change your passwords immediately.
⬜ Use secure payment channels like GCash
When shopping online, it is always a good idea to transact on official shopping sites and secure payment platforms like GCash only. Avoid settling any payments between you and the seller outside of the premises of these channels for your own safety.
GCash is accepted by many merchants both online and offline. It is easy to add funds and also transfer them back to your bank account. It is also regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and has real-time transaction receipts which can be sent via SMS, email and in-app.
If you are using GCash, here are some other things you can #GCheckMuna before you checkout:
- Never Share Your MPIN or OTP – Scammers often pose as an authorized representative or friend to trick you into donating your OTP. Remember, your MPIN and OTP are only for you.
- Only perform actions through the app – When prompted to verify or sign in, only do so with the GCash app. Some crooks use similar phishing sites to trick you into providing your information.
- Be careful with who you transact with – Always read seller reviews and research what product you are buying and from whom you are buying it.
- Access GCash Channels – For any concerns, go to the help center available on the app. Do not post your requests on social media, and GCash will never send you a personal message to address your concerns.
When it comes to safety, prevention is better than cure
The sad reality is that there will always be people who try to take advantage of security holes. Keep the things mentioned above in mind and always remember that when in doubt it never hurts to recheck. And if all goes well, then you can celebrate to your heart’s content! – Rappler.com