Cybersecurity firm shares how Pinoys can be digitally safer this new year

January 9, 2024 - 3:56 PM
Internet users
Unidentified people using a desktop computer. (Pixabay/ StartupStockPhotos)

People rarely include anything digital-related in making their New Year’s resolutions.

For a global cybersecurity firm, however, it’s a practical and smart resolution to make.

Kaspersky suggested that Filipinos include data protection in their commitment to become better versions of themselves this year, noting that the country suffered three major cyberattacks in 2023 alone.

The firm said that these attacks have caused fear, anger and frustration among Pinoys.

These include ransomware attacks and data leaks that compromised massive public data and personal financial information, which threatened governments, businesses and ordinary people. 

Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, said that “education is the most powerful form of defense” when it comes to cybersecurity.

“The more we educate and prepare ourselves, the more likely that we can minimize the risks to our personal data and money,” he said.

“It’s been found that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions due to a lack of personal control, excessive stress and negative emotion,” Yeo added.

“I say, start small until it becomes a habit. A few simple changes in the beginning will go a long way toward protecting yourself and your data. Stay committed and most importantly, get help. There are so many resources, tools and people that you can count on for support to help you keep your resolutions,” he said.

Filipinos can start to become more digitally safe this year with some of these tips:

Use passwordless sign-ins

In passwordless sign-ins, the device stores a unique cryptographic key for each site that stores the login credentials, reducing the need to type the password every time manually. 

Kaspersky said that switching to this type of login system will slash the risk of the account being hijacked.

It added that it is also convenient as the user no longer needs to think up a password, memorize and then later enter it.

Web browsers Chrome, Edge and Safari support the technology on both desktop and mobile platforms.

Embrace anonymity

The cybersecurity firm suggests Pinoys to only provide minimal information to non-critical digital services like online stores and commercial digital services.

This means not specifying their last name or social media accounts and skipping optional fields in sign-up forms. 

Kaspersky also recommended that they use disposable e-mail addresses and phone numbers as their contact information. 

It revealed that numerous services provide temporary phone numbers for receiving confirmation texts and one-time email addresses, reducing one’s digital footprint that may lead to information leakage or data theft. 

Observe cyber hygiene

Cyber hygiene refers to steps that computer users can take to improve their online security and maintain system health.

These include installing security software on all computers and phones, regularly updating apps and the operating system and making unique passwords for sites that require one.

For a more optimized solution, Pinoys can turn to Kaspersky Premium which has features related to identity protection, personal and payment info protection, anti-hacking and threat removal and antivirus.