Although the growth of social media and Internet of Things make our lives easier, they also make us vulnerable to fraudsters and cyber attacks.
Knowingly or unknowingly, people share personal information that could lead to major security risks including impersonation, theft and bullying.
Statistics show that over 554 million data records globally were compromised in the first six months in 2016, with identity theft topping the list of breach.
Commenting on the increasing growth of both social media and Internet of Things, Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure's chief research officer observed that “businesses that rely on collecting and monetising data are gaining ever-increasing access to users' lives – practices that must be understood.”
“I believe data is the new oil,” SC Media UK quoted Hypponen as saying. “And just like oil brought us both prosperity and problems, data will bring us prosperity and problems.” F-Secure Corporation is a Finnish cyber security and privacy company based in Helsinki, Finland. It has 20 country offices and a presence in more than 100 countries.
Research shows that up to 421 billion data records were stolen in 2016. Worse still, 35 data records are lost or stolen every second and over 3 million data records are lost or stolen every day.
To remain safe while using social media, we need not hare personal information that could compromise our security and that of our loved ones.
Here are two ways to protect yourself while using the internet.
Out of excitement, some people forget that posting images of your newly acquired driver’s license, or any other document containing personal information is dangerous. A document that contains your name, home address and account numbers should not be posted on social media. Such information can be used by fraudsters to impersonate you and disrupt your life completely.
There is pleasure in travelling. It is exciting and in the era of social media, you want to immediately tell your followers that you are travelling. Posting such information is risky for you, especially when you reveal too much information such as your current location and length of stay.
Moreover, when you post such details online, you are telling the world that you will not be home and burglars could use such information to break into your house and steal. Exercise precaution when posting plans for your vacation as well as your location while at it.
Other than these two precautions, you need to be even more careful if you have young children. Avoid posting their photos online and details of their whereabouts (school, playground, event etc). Exposing them to social media could be exposing them to child predators and kidnapping to some length.
In the New Year, choose to follow these tips to avoid over-exposing yourself and your loved ones to fraudsters and other online criminals.
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