In this digital age, each one of us or the organization that we are involved in relies on the internet to some degree or another for transactions, communication, transportation, leisure and other life’s necessities.
Sadly, every time we log in online through computers and mobile devices, there’s always a potential risk that our personal safety and security will be compromised, and our information and those of our loved ones be used in numerous cyber crimes.
US-based social media platform Hootsuite has been following social media and digital trends around the world, and its “Digital in 2018” report noted that the widespread use of the internet gave rise to the emergence of internet-related crimes such as rape, theft, bullying and piracy which made the public, especially the youth, very vulnerable.
Needless to say, we must take precautions to protect ourselves and our data while doing things in the cyberspace. As a Digital Ilonggo, here are a few of the things I do to maintain online security and safety.
My Take on Online Security
1. Antivirus, malware-detection, and firewall apps are a must on my computer and mobile devices. These are the first software/apps I install after Windows when I personally format/reformat my PC. After the installation, I make sure to update and keep it updated.
2. I’m very cautious on opening of the links or attachments I received in e-mails or Messenger—even from friends, especially if those are unsolicited and asks for personal information or passwords. You never know, your friends’ account might have been hacked or infected with spywares.
3. I don’t download or run an app or software from unverified sources. These might have scripts embedded to get personal information.
4. I always use passwords composed of at least eight characters with numbers and symbols, and I don’t use English words. Of course, I employ different passwords for different online accounts and platforms.
5. I make sure not to transact or give out confidential information about myself or my accounts when I’m on public wifi.
6. When doing online transactions especially those that require transmitting sensitive data such as credit card and bank account details, I make sure that the web address/URL is legitimate and uses secure connections. Secure Web pages on browsers display a green lock symbol and “https://” (‘s’ means Secure) in the address bar. When done, always log out.
7. My files and other important data about my blogs and websites are backed up regularly. And after attending a seminar on digitalization, I’m also planning to store very important files in the cloud.
8. Yes, I also cover my laptop’s webcam with tape, and always shut it down when not in use.
Of course, there’s no such thing as complete online security as hackers and other cyber criminals are always finding ways to figure out loopholes in the system.
But I believe that these measures will at least lessen the probability of cyber attacks and make my computers and gadgets, and more importantly, my personal information safer and more secure.
Hats off to Globe Telecom, a purveyor of digital lifestyle, with this #makeITsafePH cybersecurity and cyberwellness campaign which aims to educate consumers about online threats and what they can do to avoid becoming a victim. The campaign also teaches the public proper online etiquette so that they would not become a source of such deplorable behavior.
How about you? If you have other online security and safety tips, you may comment down below and let’s interact! (Image credits: Pexels.com)