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Friday, February 26, 2021

Cybersecurity under the New Normal: How to protect yourself online

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Ever since the COVID-19 Pandemic started, businesses already encourage the use of e-wallet or online payment system like Gcash, Paymaya, Grabpay, etc. 

Shopping was also made easier since we can already shop and purchase through online applications like Lazada and Shopee. 

Social media app also opens its doors to those who are aspiring to be an entrepreneur, who will start their business online. 

The internet technology is most reliable  nowadays due to our current situation. But as technology improves from time to time, the risk of malware, identity theft, and fraud also increases. 

Here are some tips on how we can protect ourselves as we use the internet.

  1. Avoid using public Wi-Fi as much as possible.
    1. Public Wi-Fi serves as a convenience for us, especially during the times that we need internet access at public places. But there is a risk that we might be connecting to a fake Wi-Fi connection or even Wi-Fi rigged by hackers. There are times that hackers can setup their own public Wi-Fi, imitating the name of the place or establishment to target those who will be needing internet access. Rigged Wi-Fi connection are usually caused by Man in the Middle (MITM) attacks, it is done when hackers have the access to intercept the data coming from the Wi-Fi and its users. Despite of this issue we can still use public Wi-Fi safely, just avoid using public Wi-Fi to log in to any personal account or make a transaction from online platforms since it requires to input all personal data.
  • Refrain from downloading apps or software from an unknown website.
    • Sometimes the word free is not always good, since when it comes to the field of the internet piracy is a crime. Since piracy can also lead to malwares and can also be penalized by the law. Under Republic Act no. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, acquiring of any digital copyrighted data can be penalized with a 200,000-500,000 pesos fine and up to 6-20 years in prison. Downloading unofficial software can also lead to ransomware, in which you can no longer access the data in your computer unless you pay the ransom from the hacker.
  • Always double check the website, email, and sender before sharing personal information.
    • Phishing is one of the strategies used by theft; they will simply imitate a website, email, or an account that looks exactly like its original counterpart. For instance, there are also cases of phishing attack from Facebook, like an account pretending to be Gcash Care which is the customer service of Gcash E-Wallet app. The account imitated the real Gcash Care account, its strategy is to attract those who have concerns with their account then it will ask for personal information even the pin of the account to steal its wallet balance. Always double check before sharing information to avoid phishing attack.

The internet is probably the most reliable platform if we are going to regularly practice safety measures; it connects us with people we know and allows us to purchase items from the comfort of our homes. Malwares and identity theft may sometimes give us fear, but as long as we are practicing safety measures when using the internet then we should not worry. Always remember to be vigilant before trusting someone or some websites, since cybercrimes could possibly increase in this time when people have no choice but to he glued on the web in order to stay sane and connected.

Sources

Cybercrime Law (retrieved October 4, 2020) from: https://www.techinasia.com/cybercrime-law-place-filipinos-face-jail-time-piracy

What is Phishing? (Retrieved October 4, 2020) from: https://www.csoonline.com/article/2117843/what-is-phishing-how-this-cyber-attack-works-and-how-to-prevent-it.html

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