By now, are you familiar with the common online scams and knowledgeable about the red flags or warning signs associated with it? If yes, that's good. It’s our responsibility to take precautionary measures to keep ourselves safe in this digital world.
Here are some easy, free, and quick ways to safeguard yourself, your financial information, and identity online:
1. Use strong passwords
There are several ways to protect yourself online, and using strong passwords is one of them. Unfortunately, even now, people still use passwords like “12345678” or “password.” Sure, they’re easy to remember, but that makes them just as easy to hack.

To ensure your passwords are strong as possible you can try doing this:
– Make your password long
– Make your password a nonsense phrase
– Include numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters
– Avoid using obvious personal information (birthday, address, pet’s name, etc.)
– Do not reuse passwords; Change them several times per year
2. Don’t click on strange-looking links
Viruses and other forms of malware often spread because you click on a link from someone you know. If you receive a link that looks strange (for instance, it may have typos in it) from a trusted friend or family member, contact them to ask if the link you’ve received was sent on purpose. You might have to wait a bit to watch that funny viral video, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Use two-factor authentication
Also known as multi- or two-factor authentication or login approval that provides an extra layer of security beyond your username and password. When using this security mechanism, you will log in using your password and then be prompted to verify your identity again. This second verification is usually done via a biometric (fingerprint or face scan), security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.
Using two-step authentication can help you feel more secure, especially for sites containing your financial information.
4. Check and verify source of information
Check if businesses or organizations are duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), etc. before making any transactions.
5. Backup your data regularly
One of the most basic yet often overlooked data protection tips is backing up your data. Basically, this creates a duplicate copy of your data, so that if a device gets lost, stolen, or compromised, you don’t lose your important information.
6. Be mindful of the apps you install
There are new apps entering the market constantly. However, too many apps running in the background not only slows down your smartphone or tablet – some of them could also be sharing your personal information, even your current location via GPS, without your knowledge. Don’t install apps unless they’re from trusted sources. Make sure you only download apps to your phone via official stores (Google play or App store).
7. Avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi
If possible, try to avoid accessing unsecured public Wi-Fi on your devices. Using it can make you vulnerable to criminal practices. And if you must use it, avoid entering compromising or personal information, like your financial information, on any websites.
8. Do not store Login ID and Password or PIN on your computer
Most computers have auto-saving or remember me features for logins and passwords. Avoid using these features as much as possible as they can be used by fraudsters when your device gets stolen or lost
9. Do not disclose personal information
Avoid sharing personal information such as your address, mother’s maiden name, telephone number, social security number, bank account number or email-address both online and offline. Keep your personal identification cards secure and your online credentials safe. Only input your personal information in reliable sites and portals when online.
Protecting Your Credit
Online transactions make it easy and convenient for us to manage our finances. There’s just one big concern to keep in mind when doing financial transactions online: security. After all, you work hard for your money and protecting it is our number one priority. So, here are some tips to help you keep safe online when doing financial transactions:
1. Sign up for email/SMS alerts for transactions If your bank or credit card company offers this service, sign up to receive an email alert when your card has been used for a transaction. This makes it easy to pinpoint charges you didn’t make and allows you to take rapid action to cancel cards.   2. Shop on familiar websites When it comes to online shopping, it’s best to use a trusted website rather than selecting a random website. If you’re familiar with the company and website, it’s easier to avoid scams. For a safe and secured online transaction, always make sure that the URL address starts with “https” and there should be a padlock icon beside it.   3. Check your statements regularly. Review your bank and credit card statements regularly to look for suspicious transactions. If you have online access to your bank and credit card accounts, it’s a good idea to check them regularly.   If you have a Home Credit loan, you can check the My Home Credit App for easier monitoring. Should you observe any unrecognized transactions, please immediately call the Customer Service hotline at (02) 7753-5711.   4. Never give your card information to anyone Don’t share your credit card details, such as 16-digit number, card expiration date, CVV, and OTP, to anyone. Remember that surrendering any of this information can lead to credit card scam.
Staying safer online can feel like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Start using a few of these tips today. As you get into the habit of following security best practices, you can feel more protected online and aware of common online scams. Develop a vigilant eye, so you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits that these digital financial services can offer.