In light of the upcoming state elections in Malaysia, Kaspersky offers essential tips to safeguard against phishing scams and cyber threats. With cybercriminals known to exploit local trends during such events, individuals are urged to exercise caution, employ common sense, distrust alarming messages, avoid opening suspicious attachments, keep software updated, report suspicious numbers, and deploy reliable cybersecurity solutions to protect their data and finances.
9 August 2023 – With the announcement of state elections for Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor, and Negeri Sembilan, the Election Commission (SPR) in Malaysia has issued a cautionary alert against potential cyber threats. As cybercriminals often exploit local trends for their malicious activities, the SPR has urged the public to report suspicious political scam calls to the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) or the police.
During the previous General Election (GE15), instances of SMS scams offering eWallet top-ups and scam calls attempting to influence voting choices were reported. In light of the upcoming state elections, cybersecurity experts advise individuals to remain vigilant and exercise caution to safeguard their data and finances online.
Genie Sugene Gan, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the Asia-Pacific, Japan, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa regions at Kaspersky, emphasized the importance of caution during this period. “Major local events like elections can be exploited by cybercriminals for their gain,” Gan stated. She encouraged the public to prioritize their online security and shared insights to prevent falling victim to phishing scams.
To shield oneself from falling prey to phishing scams during the forthcoming voting day, Kaspersky experts offer the following recommendations:
- Employ Common Sense: Prior to disclosing sensitive information, exercise caution. Refrain from clicking links in unsolicited emails, SMS, or social media messages. Instead, directly enter the website’s address into the URL field of your web browser to confirm its authenticity. For calls from unfamiliar numbers, avoid sharing confidential personal or financial details with unknown individuals.
- Distrust Alarming Messages: Delete alarming emails or messages promptly. Instead of responding to the message, contact the relevant entity directly to verify the status of your account.
- Exercise Caution with Attachments: Avoid opening attachments in suspicious or unfamiliar emails or messages, especially files like Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, or PDFs.
- Keep Software Updated: Regularly update your software, applications, and operating system to ensure that your devices are equipped with the latest security features.
- Report Suspicious Numbers: If you encounter scam calls or phishing messages from specific mobile numbers, report them to the relevant authorities.
- Deploy Reliable Cybersecurity Solutions: Install trustworthy cybersecurity solutions on your devices to bolster protection against potential threats.
As Malaysia gears up for the state elections, individuals are encouraged to remain vigilant and cautious while engaging in online activities. By adhering to these cybersecurity guidelines, citizens can fortify their defenses against phishing scams and ensure the safety of their personal information and finances.