#makeITsafePH| No Such Thing as Privacy on the Internet? Here’s How You Can Prove Them Wrong
We live in a world that is becoming more connected than ever, thanks to the internet. But along with this benefit is a tradeoff to reveal more of ourselves than otherwise would be necessary.
Although there is nothing wrong with telling much about ourselves, too much information can also be detrimental to your welfare. The information you gave away—whether intentionally or otherwise—can be easily be used against you, particularly for malicious intent.
For instance, when someone knows everything there is to know about you, your unique identity can be used to catfish another person while masking the real culprit behind the act. Coincidentally, your real-life persona may even be used for the culprit’s own advantage at your expense like using your image to gather favor from others while unwitting to yourself.
Not just individual persons are the only ones you should be guarding your personal information against as even companies too are after your personal data. Your information may seem like a string of alphanumeric characters that identifies you as a person, but companies find value in such information that can make them money with the right usage.
Just think about this: How do you think a social media such as Facebook make a profit when its usage does not cost a single penny from users? Basically, the information you give or share to the platform is the payment you make for it. While sharing personal information online per se is not necessarily wrong, any data that we shared online can be taken advantage of other people with the wrong intentions.
Given this, Globe Telecom created a cybersecurity and cyber wellness campaign dubbed as #makeITsafePH.
Here are some effective ways you can safeguard your personal information from predation:
Be anonymous even in social media
Many easily fall into the trap of social media in that they are willing to share everything about themselves in it, particularly their real-life information such as address, contact number, and email address. Although some popular social media may ask for this info, it does not mean you should comply, especially when it is completely optional.
If you are only using your personal social media account to connect with people you already know in real life, all the more reason you should not disclose any personal info which any prying eyes can see. After all, if you really know them in person, there’s a good chance they would already know much about you to require referencing on your social media account.
Do not share sensitive information online
There are many instances you would come across that would opt you to disclose sensitive information about yourself such as your social security number or your ATM number. While there are legitimate reasons why that is so, not all of them are. Sometimes, you could also fall victim to the so-called phishing scam.
Like a fish which does not want to get caught and consequently be eaten, do not fall to any phishing trick where you are asked to fill sensitive information in an unsecured platform, even in your inbox.
One way to spot whether an instance is a likely scam or not is to check the email address sender of an email which asked you for your sensitive information or by checking on the URL bar if the website contains “https” (secured) on it and not just “http.”
Although a phishing attempt may seem convincing in appearance, especially in email, there are still some hallmark of a scam in it like a weirdly thought out email address or a website with just “http” and not “https” on its URL.
Make private browsing a habit
Many of us neglect the need to clear our traces when using the internet via the web browser. Just because our modems or router are designed to generate new IP addresses per every reboot, it does not mean that you cannot be tracked. That simply is not true. The notion is even especially problematic if you are a raw web surfer (without a virtual private network (VPN) in place) and is not incognito with your browsing habit.
If you are not subscribed to a paid VPN subscription, make use of private browsing at least in order for the browser to do auto-cleanup of some of your footprint online.
Make use of password vaults
The need to create a very strong password remains a critical step in keeping our personal information safe and is the reason why algorithms like password vaults have become a significant part of safe account management.
Sure, you may be able to generate your own version of a strong password by making a hodge-podge of alphanumeric characters as well as symbols. But the problem of doing it manually is of the great chance you might just forget it, particularly after some time of not use. That is not normally the case with password vaults like LastPass.
Enable 2-factor authentication
Protecting an online account is more robust now than ever thanks to algorithms like the 2-factor authentication system which requires unique codes whenever you log into an account.
What makes this system so effective in ensuring the safeguard of an account is due to the role of a person’s private mobile number as a critical piece of channel for the login information.
Set up Google alert
Frightened that someone might already be using your online account at your expense? Why not set up a Google alert in order to be notified of anything which might be concerning to you?
Minimize Buying Online
I know avoiding buying online is quite impossible today. Not many are willing to give away the convenience of being able to purchase some things online. But if you truly want to be free from the prying eyes of businesses which operate in the virtual world, do not give them a chance to get a hold of your purchasing habit by not making one at all.
Instead of doing online transactions, go traditional by going to the nearest store and pay everything with either paper cash or coins or even both.
Some online shops are also offering COD or cash on delivery, this option for me is better.