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Cybersecurity January 03, 2024

A year in review: How to check if you are cybersecure

As the end of 2023 draws near, many people are probably thinking about what they did and
what they accomplished over the past year. Though there are many things to think about,
setting new goals for the coming year and thinking about your personal and financial goals
stand out.

When thinking about these things, it's important to think about safety as well, especially when it
comes to online banking. In a time when the digital world is growing quickly, staying safe in the
digital world is very important for keeping the benefits that technology gives us. A thorough
review of our cybersecurity practices is essential as we start a new year. This will help us
protect ourselves from new online risks and create a safe space for online financial transactions.

Here are some guide questions you should be asking yourself as you close the year in

I. Unknown people

As much as technology has uplifted our living standards, it presents a set of new
challenges for us in that there are entities who have devised new ways of exploiting

Today, there are countless scams around us — especially when it comes to our mobile
devices and emails. Here are some questions to reflect on:

– Did I provide personal information to someone I did not know over the phone?
– Did I click a link from an email that was provided to me by someone I did not
– Did I give my details such as my One-Time Password to someone who claims
he/she can solve problems with my bank account?
– A loved one claimed he/she had money problems. Did I verify this with my loved
one before deciding to send money over?

If you answer no to all or most of these questions, then it means you are on the right
track. Phishing remains to be one of the most common forms of cybercrime around, and
the best way to deal with it is to avoid being a victim. That entails not falling for
cybercriminals’ tricks.

II. Social media

Filipinos are known to be one of the heaviest users of social media on the planet. As
such, cybercriminals are taking advantage of this by approaching users of popular sites
such as Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter).

Here are some questions you should ask yourself regarding your social media habits:

– Did I take part in those quizzes, such as personality quizzes, on Facebook?
– Did I take advantage of a “promo”, such as cryptocurrency, that someone told me
– Did I change my password recently? Or do I change my password regularly (e.g.
every few months)?
– Did I accept a friend request from someone I am not familiar with?

A lot of information is posted on social media, making it a goldmine for cybercriminals.
The best way to deal with this is to control what information can be accessed by others,
such as not taking part in quizzes that are secretly looking to store your personal data
without your consent or not talking with strangers who might be after your money by
scamming you.

III. Devices

These days, nobody cannot live without our mobile phones and laptops. We need these
devices in our daily lives, whether we are just relaxing or for our work.

As such, our devices could be the “make-or-break” link on whether we are cybersecure
or not. Check yourself on whether you are on the right track with questions such as:

– Do I regularly download software updates for my phone and laptop?
– Do I download antivirus software updates on my laptop?
– Do I refrain from not using public WiFi hotspots? Or if ever I use one, do I use a
VPN (Virtual Private Network)?
– Whenever I am outside, do I make sure my devices are not out of my sight at all
– Do I encrypt files stored in my devices?

Answering yes to these questions means you are doing well in securing your devices.
Our gadgets hold the most important information to us, and as such, data falling into the
wrong hands spell grave consequences for us.

How did you do, then? If you did well, then congratulations! Keep up the good work! If not,
consider how to strengthen your cybersecurity habits and devise a plan of action to get better
going forward.