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Cybersafe July 28, 2019

Five Common Safety Mistakes People Make Online

Believe it or not, but even if you’ve been a whiz at using the Internet for years now, you may still be making the same mistakes as everybody else.


Every year, we see millions of people worldwide get hacked. A study from the University of Maryland found that there is a hacking attack every 39 seconds. More often than not, it is caused by a failure to take extra precautions when conducting business online. Here are five common mistakes people make when it comes to online data security.


1. Oversharing

Cybersecurity experts lament how users tend to overshare personal details online. Full names, birthdates, names of pets or children – information like this are what hackers would try to use first to get into an account. Even if they aren’t the actual password used, they might be the answer to the privacy questions that websites ask when you sign-up.


2. Reusing passwords

Reusing a password for every site, refusing to create a new password, creating weak passwords are common mistakes. In a study conducted with 28.8 million people, 52% of the respondents reuse passwords (or use similar passwords) for every service. This gives hackers an easier time in accessing all accounts, so data is especially vulnerable.


3. Staying logged in

When using a public computer, many people forget to sign-out of their accounts before leaving, so these accounts are fair game for all the strangers and other users in that area. Cultivate the habit of logging-out, even on private devices, because you never know who can access them.


4. Using public WiFi

Though public WiFi seems like a blessing, it really isn’t. As much as possible, avoid using free WiFi, as these networks aren’t secure and may be vulnerable to hackers who can steal your log-in information.


5. Linking social media to other accounts

You’ll be a prime target for identity theft if your social media accounts are connected to each other. Because the sites are linked, hackers just need to hack into one account to access the rest, so always keep your accounts separate.


If you feel as though your email has been compromised, or you’re not sure and wish to check,  visit https://haveibeenpwned.com/. This website will tell you whether or not your account has ever been breached.


This article is part of the Banker’s Association of the Philippines’ (BAP) #CyberSafe campaign, where the BAP aims to promote awareness towards cybersecurity. As part of the campaign, new posts will be uploaded every Wednesday and Sunday, tackling common web security questions and issues.


For more information about cybersecurity threats,  please visit these links: Phishing 101 and Malware 101.