You constantly use tech devices day in and day out. Whether for work, school, or personal use, it has become a part of your system that you can no longer live without it. The sad thing is that we are also the ones who sabotage our own safety by not being careful enough when divulging personal data. With all the cyber criminals lurking in every part of the web, you can never really tell when someone is out there to steal your information. Malware attacks are so common now. Last year, ransomware attacks have taken the world by storm and even affected big institutions like hospitals and other government agencies.
Most users willingly volunteer personal information to online apps and services because they believe they have nothing to hide and nothing to lose.
When I hear this reasoning, it reminds me of stories from World War II in which soldiers sat on the sideline when the enemy was not actively pursuing them. When the enemy did come, nobody was left to protect the soldiers who waited around. That’s why it’s essential for all users to take a stand on data privacy — even if they’re not personally affected at this very moment.
Some folks are happy to disclose their personal information because it makes their lives easier. I recently spoke to a chief information security officer (CISO) and privacy officer at a major unified communications company who told me about an employee who willingly submitted personal data to a retail company because it streamlined the online shopping experience and delivered ads that were targeted to his or her interests.
Try to be more careful when sharing these details on the web because your information may end up in the wrong hands and cause you so many troubles. Many of these third-parties are advertisers who will do whatever they can to access the public’s information for their personal gain. After all, you can generate more income if you can target more people, right? You may feel that your data is safe somehow but that isn’t always the case especially when there is a security breach like what is happening right now here and there. Malware attacks are either meant to steal your data or take advantage of your device’s computing power to mine for digital currencies like bitcoin. It is so common now that cryptocurrency has blown up to exponential proportions.
As such, the term ‘know your enemy is key’. From phishing, spear-phishing and whaling, ransomware and malware, to ghostware, blastware and DDoS, keeping on top of threats is increasingly difficult – especially because as soon as a solution to one issue is found, another version pops up. Cyber security isn’t just an issue of time and resource for organisations; it can also be one of cost. Indeed, according to Gartner, cyber security will cost businesses $96 billion in 2018.
In addition, organisations are having to respond to increasing customer awareness about the value of their data growing pressure to not only keep it safe from malicious attack, but also use it responsibly, and not exploit it in the way organisations such as Cambridge Analytica have been accused of.
Of course, customers aren’t the only ones applying pressure when it comes to data protection. GDPR has transformed consumer data best practice across all sectors. It is also playing an important role in placing the power firmly back where it belongs, in the hands of the consumer.
There are measures you can take to safeguard your own privacy. Always use your own device especially when accessing online. You wouldn’t want to leave your account accessible to others because you hastily have to go somewhere and don’t have the time to clear everything in your wake. It is even more costly if the files you left vulnerable are work-related and have a big impact on your chosen career and your future. You have to be observant if there are any changes in your device or accounts that could signify a breach has taken place. It isn’t easy given that threats always linger so you need to be up on your toes always because the virtual world can be a nasty place for the innocent, careless, and the oblivious.
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