Doing some last-minute online shopping? Stay safe with these tips from GCash

Doing some last-minute online shopping? Stay safe with these tips from GCash
Follow this #GChecklist before you check out

Editor’s note: This content is sponsored by GCash and was produced by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial team participated in the production of this piece. 

With just a few taps on your phone, 12 days of Christmas gifts isn’t such a hard feat to achieve. Christmas shopping simply has never been this easy, and we’re sure Santa Claus will have a hard time keeping up with all the demand. 

But with so much last-minute shopping happening as the holidays come closer, it’s easy to forget to do your due diligence as you browse online. 

Always remember that to keep your account safe, you need to be G in taking action to safeguard yourself! 

You need to be: 

  • G to be Informed – by learning the steps in safeguarding your account 
  • G to be Protected – by playing an active role in keeping your account secure 
  • G to Share – by letting others know about security measures 

And how exactly do you keep your accounts safe? 

⬜ Make stronger pins and passwords phrases

It’s 2021! If you’re still using 1234 or your birthday as your pin or password, it’s high time that you retire that. Those are among the most predictable codes to use, and you’re basically inviting a hacker into your account if you still use that. 

A strong password is a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters. This 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 worried about whether your passphrase is strong enough or if you’ll be able to remember it, we have a few pointers that can make it less daunting for you.

  • Make it easy to remember through relevance. It can be based on an event, your favorite song, a short line from a poem, or what have you.
  • Do the same for a set of numbers. It can be your favorite athlete’s jersey number or a totally random set that you can memorize. Just make sure it isn’t easy to predict.
  • Create a passphrase using your chosen phrase and numbers, throw in some special characters, and change the capitalization up a little.

For example, instead of 1234beautiful, it can be 72_BeautifulD@y_27. And for other passwords, you can use variations of this combination or totally new ones too.

If coming up with your own password is too difficult, there are also password managers that can generate strong randomized ones for you. These programs also store your passwords in an encrypted server, and can autofill 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 apart from logging into an account using a password, you also get a one-time password sent to your mobile device or email address. There are also two-factor authentication apps like Google Authenticator.

What this does for you is it adds an extra layer of protection, while also making sure you are notified for each access attempt. Check if any of the apps or accounts you use offer this feature, and make sure to enable it.

⬜ Shop from reputable apps or websites

When you’re doing some online shopping, it’s always best to shop from well-known and official websites and their official apps. 

A good rule of thumb would be to check for a padlock icon beside the address bar if you’re visiting a website, but that isn’t always guaranteed. You can also check if the website looks suspicious, like if there are visible flaws, incorrect grammar, typos, or if it’s an unrecognizable link. 

If it can be helped, shopping through an app might 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 links from suspicious emails

See a cool promo in your email? Check the sender first! If there’s anything off from the email address, it would be in your best interest to flag it as spam or delete the email forever. Some fake addresses nowadays look really similar to the official ones. Take a look at your previous emails first and compare them with the recent ones for good measure. 

It only takes one click into a dubious link to infect your computer or account. If you feel like you’ve fallen prey to this, make sure to change your passwords immediately. 

⬜ Use secure payment channels like GCash

When you’re shopping online, it’s always a good idea to do transactions within official shopping sites and secured payment platforms like GCash only. Avoid settling any payments between you and the seller outside the premises of these channels for your own safety and security.

GCash is accepted by many merchants, whether online or offline. It’s easy to add funds, and also easy to transfer them back into your bank account. It’s also regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and has real-time transaction receipts that can be sent via SMS, e-mail, and in-app.

If you use GCash, here are other items you can #GCheckMuna before you checkout: 

  • Never share your MPIN or OTP – Scammers often pose as an authorized representative or a friend to trick you into giving your OTP. Remember your MPIN and OTP are only for you. 
  • Only do actions via the app – When asked to verify or log in, only do it with the GCash app. Some scammers use similar-looking phishing sites to trick you into giving your information.
  • Be careful of who you transact with – Always read seller reviews and do research on the product you are buying and who you are buying it from. 
  • Go to GCash Channels – For all concerns go to the Help Center found on the app. Do not post your inquiries on social media and GCash will never personally message you to address concerns. 
When it comes to security, it’s better to be safe than sorry

The unfortunate reality is that there will always be people out there trying to take advantage of security lapses. Keep the above-mentioned items in mind, and always remember that when in doubt, it never hurts to double-check. And if all is well, then you can celebrate to your heart’s content! – Rappler.com

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GCash (G-Xchange, Inc.) is the #1 Finance App in the Philippines. Through the GCash App, 71M registered users can easily purchase prepaid airtime; pay bills at over 1,600 partner billers nationwide; send and receive money anywhere in the Philippines, even to other bank accounts; purchase from over 5.2M partner merchants and social sellers; and get access to savings, credit, loans, insurance and invest money, and so much more, all at the convenience of their smartphones. GCash is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mynt (Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc.), the first and only double unicorn in the Philippines. GCash was recognized by The Asian Banker (TAB) and by the IDC in 2021 for its outstanding digital financial inclusion programs.