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Keep yourself secure online

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By Ina Cabreza and Rokey Desingaño

More than any other activity we do that needs the use of the internet, social media takes the top spot. These social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc., have taken over most of our lives, including some of our personal information. Don’t you think it’s best to be sure that you have secured yourself from possible hacking?

Here are some tips to help you:

1. Keep an eye on your unused accounts

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When you have accounts that you don’t use anymore, better keep an eye on them or just deactivate it. Beware: other people could easily upload malicious content or comments using your name. You might also have left important personal data on your idle accounts such as your personal email that might be used by hackers against you.

2. Clicking the wrong link or downloading the wrong file

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Something simple such as clicking can be a threat to your online activity. Clicking links, especially the short, malicious ones even on trusted platforms might cause serious problems because it may be filled with malware that could be a gateway for hackers. Better think twice before clicking!

3. Accessing Public Wi-Fi Networks

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Free Internet usage can now be accessed anywhere such as malls, restaurants, and even public transportation. By simply entering your cell phone number or email address on browsers, you will be able to surf the web for specific number of hours. This in turn could possibly put your classified data at risk. It might be a way for cyber criminals to take advantage of the vulnerability of your device, threatening all your social media accounts. In order to avoid this, refrain from using public Wi-Fi networks from non-secure establishments.
4. Phishing / Scams

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When someone online — may it be your closest friend or relative — tells you to click a link and asks you to log-in with your password or personal email, would you click it? Think again. Phishing is a type of scam not only directed personally but a widespread threat of attaining an organization’s data, especially if it attacks a brand or a company with a large customer base. Not only will it acquire data of the employees, but also the customers. So, be cautious of people messaging you to click on a link of a website or clicking a suspicious link on your email that requires you to login with your personal details.

5. Choose your friends wisely

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Has someone ever added you on your social media account and you end up asking yourself, “Who is this and how did this person find me?” Well, think again before you accept a stranger’s request. It’s better to have a few trusted friends list on your accounts than have thousands who have access to your private posts. Once a hacker finds out simple facts about you such as your dog’s name or favorite color, then that could be used to access accounts.

6. Privacy Settings

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All social media apps have a privacy setting — this is where you control who sees what you post on your accounts. Make sure family and close friends can only see your posts. ‘Hide’ important information from everyone else, or better yet, do not disclose such unless it is necessary.

7. Unsecured mobile phones

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Utilize the password setting of your phone! You may never know if you would lose your phone today or tomorrow, so before it falls into the wrong person’s hands make sure to put a passcode and make it a difficult one.

8. Choose the right password for your social media accounts

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Another online error you may be doing is using the same password for all your social media accounts, email, and even for your phone passcode. Yes, it makes it easier to remember but it can also put your accounts at risk like your credit card details and other pertinent information. Also, don’t use personal information like birthdays or a numeral succession such as “1,2,3,4,5”. When making a password use a combination of numbers and letters.

9. Stop over sharing personal information online

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We are in the age of social media where everybody wants to share where they are or what they’re doing at the exact moment. But, this may give online hackers an edge on you. Posting photos of concert tickets, plane tickets, or even your passport or any I.D. for that matter may give them an access to your personal information online and may be used at your expense. Never post identification cards that show your whole name (including middle initial), date of birth, address of your home, your signature, and the numbers on the card.

10. Use the two-factor authentication option for further protection

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Most social media apps and email platforms provide an option where you can use a two-factor authentication code. What is this, you ask? Well, two-factor authentication can also be called as a two-step verification process where you not only need your password to enter your account but also will need another information from you to get in. It may be sent via SMS or directly to your email account depending on the process that you chose. To activate your two-factor authentication, log in your social media account, head to the ‘Settings’ option, then proceed to ‘Security and login’ and you will find the two-factor authentication.

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