Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility

Published April 25, 2021, 12:30 AM

by Art Samaniego

Cybersecurity is a responsibility.

Cybersecurity affects everyone – from regular employees to executives, from patients to doctors, from consumers to company owners, from small family businesses to the world’s biggest banks, and many more — victims of cybercrimes come from every spectrum of society and if we will not be careful, these victims could be me, you, our friends, and our family members.

Just recently, social media giant Facebook was in the limelight because of the reported user information that was shared online from more than 533million accounts including phone numbers, email addresses, birthdays, and other personal details.  With the details now publicly available, people could connect your name to a phone number, know where you’re working, verify your civil status and check your email address, pieces of information that cybercriminals could exploit for malicious purposes.

As I am writing this, Facebook once again became a hot topic not only in social media but also on TV and radio as users are being tagged maliciously by people unknown to them. The tag aims to trick users to download malware masquerading as a flash player update. When you click that fake update on your PC or laptop, it would install the malware that could harvest your sensitive information. It would then take over your account by posting malicious video links and tagging friends of your friends on Facebook hoping that they would also click and download the malware. Good that the only thing it could do to mobile users for now, if their privacy settings are not configured correctly, is to annoy them with notifications. Security professionals however are saying that this could evolve and infect and spread via mobile devices.

In 2020, 99% of hacked accounts have something in common, users did not activate the two-factor authentication (2FA) feature of their accounts. When 2FA is on, you have another layer of protection to secure your account. Even if hackers got hold of your password, they could not access your account if they don’t have the code that you only have, one example of 2FA is the one-time password or OTP that four or six digits you get via your registered number or device when you log in to an account.  Never share to others this code as attackers could have access to your account if you do.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, cybercrime increased up to 600% as compared to the same period last year. The top malware carrier that infects users is the email system. Since 2018 email-based attacks have gained momentum.  Sophisticated phishing techniques have been used by hackers to make users click that malicious link inside the email.  If you receive unsolicited emails with attachments and links, be careful. If the email appears to be urgent and the sender says you need to click the link immediately, stay away from it.

With all these, we should all be responsible for what we are doing, where we are going, and what we are clicking while using the internet. Cybersecurity should be everyone’s responsibility as it encompasses everything connected to protecting the sensitive information that could be used against us and could cause damage if it would fall into the wrong hands. Just like defensive driving that could improve everyone’s safety on the road or wearing a mask and get vaccinated to protect not only ourselves but also our loved ones, we also need to take measures to secure our accounts.  When your social media account is breached, you are not only endangering yourself but also your friends and family.

We’re just too TechNews happy that many share our precautionary views, as seen in this special issue.

Converge Founder and CEO Dennis Anthony Uy has positioned his company to help and boost the Filipinos’ digital lifestyle.

Globe has taken the lead on their #OneGlobeVsCOVID campaign — need we say more?

Rex Book Store officially rebrands as Rex Education, fully embracing digital learning for young Filipinos.

ShopeePay has joined the trending “cashless life” that limits physical contacts as we go online shopping, Coca-Cola has empowered more women to lead the new order of things, RCBC DiskarTech aims to protect lives via an innovative insurance — these and more, so read on.