There’s no denying that the Internet has already been an integral part of our daily lives. The Internet has become a source of information for almost everything that is detrimental to our daily living. With just one click, you get answers to your questions about a lot of things. But the most benefit that everyone get from the Internet is the communication. It bridges the gap and made communication instant and very affordable compared to the past years where people have to wait for days or even months to hear from their loved ones who are away for work or vacation or for whatever reason. With today’s technology and Internet, your love ones is just a chat or a video call away!
Do you know that Philippines now has 67 million Internet users, with all of them active on social media? This is according to the report conducted by Hootsuite a US-based social media management platform, this social media and digital trends around the world report called “Digital in 2018”. Imagine 67MILLION Filipinos on the Internet! While it’s great to know that millions of Filipinos are enjoying this trend and lifestyle, there’s also this apprehension of its safeness. It’s also a fact that a lot of people have become victims to different kinds of crimes small or big with the Internet as its portal. This happens on Social Media and by simply surfing the net.
Talking about surfing the net, it seems really harmless right? You just open a browser (Mozilla, Chrome, IE, Safari) and type in the website’s url you want to visit and viola, it’s there! But do you know that with just simply browsing the net you can be in danger or harm? You can be tracked, hackers can have access on your computer and worst comes in when they get access to your personal information! You wouldn’t want that to happen right?
To help you avoid compromising your privacy and safety online, here are basic but essential tips for you.
Be careful what links you click on – Avoid clicking links in an email, Instant Message or on your social network unless you are sure where and who the message is coming from. Avoid clicking on ads because mainly those are bait and unsecured aiming to just fish personal information. Be vigilant also with cybercriminals possibly hacking on your friends or family’s accounts. These people who have hacked into other people’s account would go into the list of people in the account hacked and would often ask for money related help. Always verify with the person concerned.
Don’t give out your personal information –guys! This is very basic! Don’t put personal details such as your home address, telephone numbers or work address online. Those cybercriminals can use this information to create a fake profile with your details.
Use strong, unique passwords – when creating accounts on any platform online, make sure to use passwords that are strong enough for cybercriminals to guess. Include a mix of numbers, symbols, and letters, both uppercase and lowercase (keep a copy of it on your notepad if you tend to forget passwords easily). And please DO NOT share your password to anyone! Well, if you’re a minor, it is sensible to share it with your parents. Apart from them, no one else should know.
Be cautious of unsecured or unknown websites – if like me you are a fan of shopping online, make sure that you shop at legitimate and reputable shopping websites. When you’re shopping online or logging into your online bank account, check the URL to make sure it starts with “https” instead of “http.” The “s” indicates that the website you are logging into is secure and encrypts your data so it can’t be stolen. “Https” will encrypt your connection with websites (there are plugins you can get for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera so you are always using HTTPS)
Use of Public WiFi Networks – when you are logging into public wifi networks (coffee shops, restaurants, malls, airports, hotels, etc.) make sure not to access websites that contains delicate information such as banks, or paypal. That is an open network and anyone can gain access to your computer or phone.
Don’t talk to strangers online or offline – this is not just for the minors online, this is for everyone who are vulnerable to deceit. Don’t meet up with strangers! These people with the intentions of harming others are cloaked in profiles that don’t really say who they are so only share your personal details on social media sites with friends, family and people you already know in the ‘real’ world. And again NEVER meet strangers offline!
Log out of sites when you’re done using them – especially when you are in an internet café! But even if you are on your own computer, always make it a habit to logout from a website. Do you know that logging into a site creates a cookie in your browser, which identifies you and if stolen, can compromise your account, your personal details and you are done! So yes, do logout all the time after logging in to your accounts online.
Protect yourself and your family online and do not be a victim of these cybercriminals lurking the Internet waiting for their next victim to bite the dust! #makeITSafePH
#makeITsafePH is cybersecurity and cyberwellness campaign by Globe Telecom, being a purveyor of digital lifestyle aiming to educate consumers about online threats and what they can do to avoid becoming a victim.