Amid the anticipation for the Holy Week break, cybersecurity remains a crucial concern as incidents of identity theft continue to rise. Cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky stress the importance of staying vigilant while enjoying a peaceful getaway.

Kaspersky cited statistics from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group, which saw that between November 2023 and February 2024, there were 178 cases of “hijack profile” incidents reported, with a significant surge occurring in February alone, accounting for half of the total cases. These findings echo a concerning trend observed throughout 2023, with nearly 3,000 cyber identity theft incidents documented by the PNP.

Kaspersky shares digital security tips for holiday break
Kaspersky shares tips on what to do in the event of data breach

“In 2023, we monitored 26,164,699 web threat attacks in the Philippines, which made the country 4th with the highest web threat attacks globally, and when we looked at it closely, we found out that Filipinos were facing one attack per second,”  said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky. “These numbers are a reminder of the importance of remaining vigilant at all times.”

To safeguard against cyber risks during the holiday season, Kaspersky has issued a set of cybersecurity recommendations:

General Travel Tips:

  • Exercise caution with enticing offers.
  • Verify the security of your connection before sharing personal information online.
  • Always confirm the authenticity of websites by checking the address bar.
  • Purchase tickets and accommodations from reputable sources.
  • Avoid participating in dubious giveaways.
  • Utilize strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.

While checking the address bar is a fundamental practice, it may not always suffice, as malicious actors can manipulate website addresses. Therefore, employing a comprehensive security solution like Kaspersky Premium, which scans for malicious links, is recommended.

In addition to general travel precautions, Kaspersky emphasizes protecting personal data against identity theft:

  • Minimize exposure by limiting social media usage and refraining from sharing personal information.
  • Keep devices up to date with security patches and antivirus software to mitigate malware threats.
  • Exercise caution when opening email attachments or visiting unfamiliar websites.
  • Regularly monitor credit card statements for unauthorized charges and promptly report any suspicious activity to the relevant financial institution.

Prioritizing cybersecurity measures alongside travel plans is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation experience. By remaining vigilant and implementing proactive cybersecurity practices, individuals can mitigate the risks of identity theft and other cyber threats, enhancing peace of mind during the holiday season.