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Cybersafe August 26, 2019

Should I?: An FAQ on online security


WITH new schemes, fraud cases, and data breaches reported almost daily, online security has been a concern on everyone’s mind these days. Here are some common questions you might have, and answers to them. 

Should I allow my computer to remember my username and password?
No, that is not advised. In case any of your devices get stolen, your username and password will most likely be stolen as well. Not only that, any person who can access your device will have immediate access to everything as well. You should also avoid keeping a list of passwords anywhere, and opt to use a password manager instead. 

Should I keep myself logged into my account(s)?
Same as the above, once someone accesses your device, they can control all your account as well. Auto-login may be convenient for you, but it may also give hackers and thieves an easier time. It’s best to make it a habit to login and logout every session. The bonus of logging in every time means you’ll remember your passwords better.

Should I use two-factor authentication?
Yes, you should utilize two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is a security measure that adds another step in verifying your identity before logging in. PCMag’s lead security analyst Neil Rubenking describes it as follows: “There are three generally recognized factors for authentication: something you know (such as a password), something you have (such as a hardware token or cellphone), and something you are (such as your fingerprint. Two-factor means the system is using two of these options.” 

Should I get a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
Yes, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) should be adopted if you want an additional layer of protection. VPNs connect your device to another computer over the internet, and allows you to browse as though you’re using that computer’s internet connection. It will make you look as though you’re somewhere else, and VPNs contact websites through an encrypted VPN connection, so it’s much safer. 

Should I be using incognito mode?
Yes, incognito mode helps in keeping your data safe, but it doesn’t keep your browsing private from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or snoops online. Incognito mode does, however, erase your browsing, search history, and cookies after a session, so if you’re using a public device (like a computer shop unit), then you should be going incognito so people can’t access your data after you’re done. 

This article is part of the Banker’s Association of the Philippines’ (BAP) #CyberSafe campaign, where the BAP aims to promote awareness in cybersecurity. The campaign will upload new posts tackling common web security questions and issues, on Wednesdays and Sundays every week.

For more content on cybersecurity, visit the BAP Official YouTube channel.