Fortinet Email Security  - Data Privacy: Keeping your personal info private, the way it should be

Globally, Filipinos bested other countries last year when it came to spending time on the internet and social media. According to a report by social media dashboard Hootsuite and global social media agency We Are Social, Filipinos spent an average of 10 hours and 2 minutes on the internet and about 4 hours and 12 minutes on social media regardless of device used.

Filipinos are obviously big fans of internet and social media use, but many are still unaware of the dangers that lurk online, specifically with regard to keeping data and other personal information protected from cybercriminals. They have become quite savvy in order to lure more victims of their nefarious activities.

To protect the privacy of people’s data, StaySafeOnline.org, created by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a public-private partnership that seeks to encourage a culture of cybersecurity among people, offers basic tips on how ordinary individuals can protect themselves, their families and friends, and manage their privacy to stay safe while online.

  • Secure devices – use strong passwords, codes or touch ID features to lock devices in order to help protect informationlike contacts, photos, videos, even medical and financial data if in case the device gets lost
  • Think before you app – sensitive information like games played, contacts list, shopping behavior, location, can be collected through apps downloaded from the internet. Just be mindful about providing information and who gets the information through downloaded apps
  • Now you see me, now you don’t – remember to disable Bluetooth or Wifi connectivity when in public places because cybercriminals can track users’ movements through devices that are in range. Better be safe than sorry.
  • Be wifi hotspot savvy – if wireless networks and hotspots are offered free, they are most likely not secure which means cybercriminals can track and steal information from devices that use these free networks hotspots. Just limit use of public wifi or don’t log in to personal accounts that may require revealing sensitive data or information.
  • Keep it clean – maintain a secure device using up-to-date security software, web browser, operating system and apps to provide the best defense against viruses, malicious software (malware), and other online threats.
  • Own it – hide email addresses from personal online profiles or social media sites and make it more private. Avoid clicking links that may connected to malicious websites used for “phishing” attacks that will collect personal and financial information, or even infect devices with malware and viruses.

Cybercriminals have become quite savvy in their attempts to lure people in to click a link or open an attachment. So avoid being a victim by thinking before visiting a dubious site, clicking a link or downloading an attachment from an unidentified source.

This coming January 28, the Philippines joins the whole world in the celebration of “Data Privacy Day,” an international effort that seeks to create awareness about the importance of respecting privacy, safeguarding data, and enabling trust. This annual event started in the US and Canada back in 2008 with the signing of Convention 108, the first legally binding international treaty that deals with privacy and data protection.

Efforts to help create awareness to curb online piracy in the country started with the creation of #makeITsafePH campaign of Globe Telecom under its CyberPinoy cyber wellness program that covers big corporations, small and medium-scale enterprises, government agencies, schools and the general public. The campaign also reaches out to young school children through its Digital Thumbprint Program (DTP) to teach students on proper online behavior and about being safe and responsible when online since they are deemed most vulnerable to the negative aspects of the internet.

For more about Globe Telecom, visit www.globe.com.ph.

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