Real-person thieves are not the only ones we should keep an eye on during the holidays when people make a lot of purchases.
Global cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s specialists report that “over the last few years, the holiday period was marked by an increase in phishing and other types of attacks, which suggests that the pattern will be repeated this year.”
Cybercriminals are said to be particularly interested in payment data and use different schemes to get the information they want: create a fake payment page of a famous payment system, copy legitimate online retailer sites or create 100-percent fake shops with incredibly attractive offerings.
“A peak season for sales is obviously also a peak hunting season for criminals: Retailers offer lots of hard-to-resist deals and people plan on spending money on gifts for themselves, their friends and relatives,” Kaspersky says.
Statistics show that in 2014 and 2015, the proportion of phishing pages that hunt financial data, specifically credit cards details, rose by around 9 percent during the fourth quarter of the year, as compared to the annual average.
“Both in 2014 and 2015, Kaspersky Lab researchers witnessed a significant (several percentage points) increase in phishing attacks against payment systems and online stores. Attacks against banks also grew, but at a lower rate,” it says.
To protect yourself against cybercriminals, Kaspersky Lab experts suggest:
Do not click on links from unknown people or suspicious links sent by friends on social networking sites or via e-mail. They can be malicious, created to download malware to your device or to lead to phishing webpages that harvest user credentials.
Do not enter your credit card details in unfamiliar or suspicious sites. Websites offering deals that look too good to be true most likely belong to criminals.
Always double-check if the webpage is genuine. Fake websites may look like the real ones.
Install a security solution on your device, with built-in technologies designed to prevent financial fraud.
‘Jurassic’ age jeepneys
Reacting to last week’s column, Bruce Hall says that in Iloilo, vehicles that do not turn on their headlights, aside from jeepneys, are private cars, motorcycles and tricycles.
He suggests: “Annual inspections (by government authorities, particularly the Land Transportation Office) should include lights, especially taillights. Tickets should be issued to those who do not use lights.”
He says it is, in fact, better if motorists are required to use their headlights at all times. “Daylight headlight use has been proven to reduce accidents, which is why many countries now require it during the day. Besides, the electricity (to power the lights) is in essence free, generated by the vehicle.”
I received two reports on reasons given by jeepney drivers for not turning on their lights. One, the lights make it difficult for commuters to read signs indicating the vehicle’s route. Two, the weight of the passengers raises the lights, the glare inconveniencing other motorists.
Both reasons only lead me to conclude that the technology of the jeepney—originally the result of Filipino ingenuity that transformed the American military jeep into a public utility vehicle—has not advanced much since the end of World War II.
While self-driving cars are already in the market, the jeepney still relies on almost obsolete technologies.
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