Hackers jump at the chance to commit cybercrimes while more and more people are turning to online world for their transactions amid the pandemic.
Leading telco offered tips on how to maintain security of our online accounts.
Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and physical distancing restrictions, more people are now doing their transactions online. Unscrupulous individuals have grabbed the opportunity to commit fraud, access financial accounts, damage reputations, or even destroy lives.
To do these illegal acts, hackers may use personal information posted online to steal your passwords and access your accounts. Statements such as “We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary today”, “Call me on 12345678”, “My address is…”, “I love Blackie, my dog”, might seem harmless but might be enough for hackers to answer security questions and compromise your online records.
To make matters worse, FICO, an analytics software company based in Silicon Valley, said that 32% of Filipinos continue to reuse five or fewer passwords across all their accounts while 29% still write down their passwords.
“As a company which provides consumers with connectivity, we also want to keep them safe from malicious activities especially at this time when many are staying at home and are relying more than ever on apps and online services for various reasons. Passwords are the keys to our accounts, making it imperative to ensure that our passwords are well protected to ensure the safety of our accounts,” said Anton Bonifacio, Globe Chief Information Security Officer.
Further, SplashData’s analysis of millions of passwords leaked on the internet showed that among the most common passwords in 2020 are the following: 123456, 123456789, qwerty, password, 1234567, 12345678, 12345 Iloveyou, 111111, 123123, Nothing, Secret, Password1, and Admin. To check if a password can be hacked in six seconds or in six trillion years, visit www.howsecureismypassword.net.
Tips on how to make your online accounts and passwords secure
Leading telecommunications company Globe telecom offered the following tips to maintain the security of your accounts while doing online transactions.
1. Use different passwords for multiple accounts. Using one password for multiple accounts makes it easy for us to remember our login details, but it also makes hackers’ life easier. They know that if they breach one account, they can easily access your other accounts.
Thus, Globe continuously reminds its consumers to use different passwords for multiple accounts as well as turn their password into a passphrase. This passphrase must be a combination of uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers; does not contain personal information such as names, birthdays, and addresses; and has to be a weird phrase that can be easily remembered. Even better is to use a free password management software that generates strong random passwords and integrates to browsers or even the phone for ease of use.
2. Set up two-factor authentication. If an account allows it, enable two-factor verification as an added layer of protection. On top of the password, this requires a code that can be received via SMS, a phone call or a separate authentication app, in order to log in. However, app-based One-Time PIN generators must be the user’s first choice while SMS OTP should be avoided and be considered as a last resort.
3. Use biometrics. When possible, Globe also recommends the use of new technologies like biometrics with fingerprint, retinal or facial scan for added security. In fact, FICO said 76% of those surveyed are willing to use fingerprint scan while 40% and 23% are amenable to facial and eye scan, respectively.
4. Be wary of social media scammer. Aside from hacking, social media scammers may directly get in touch with their target victims through social networking sites or mobile phones. According to Globe, there are those who pose as company personnel offering products, services, or assistance but with the intention to defraud consumers. Globe said it will never ask for passwords or OTPs and customers should never disclose this to anyone.
“The strongest of passwords is only as secure as the person that keeps it. Almost all account takeover, based on our experience, happens due to social engineering. So always be vigilant,” said Bonifacio.
For mobile-based scams, Globe encourages its customers to report mobile numbers responsible for these types of messages to https://www.globe.com.ph/stop-spam.html#gref .
While doing its best to protect the data of its customers, Globe stressed that the conscious involvement of the public is also important. Through its Digital Thumbprint Program and #MakeItSafePH campaign, Globe continues to promote proper online behavior and responsible internet usage among consumers to keep them safe from numerous threats present on the internet. To learn more about Globe Telecom, visit www.globe.com.ph (Photo by pexels.com)