CAPE TOWN – Kaspersky Lab in celebration of Human Rights day on the 21st of March believe that South Africans need to consider that we are functioning in a world continually shaped by technology and should consider their right to IT security and online protection in the digital age
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab said in an email response to Business Report: " In this digitally driven world, we entrust our personal information with many online providers today – just think about all the applications and online websites you make use of, daily."
"Given that our data holds massive value about who we are, it is our right to ensure that it is protected. We need to know that these companies are looking after our data, to not only avoid a possible data breach scenario but to ensure that our data does not end up in the wrong hands which can comprise our credentials, reputation and information."
Kaspersky lists practical steps that technology consumers and users can implement, to ensure further protection:
- Setting different passwords for various online accounts – while it can be tempting to set the same password for all online accounts, to ensure you don’t forget your login details, this is, in fact, a very unsafe technique. Should a breach occur, and your data be stolen from one website, having the same password would mean that the criminals can now access all your accounts, leaving you very vulnerable to further implications.
- Make sure passwords are strong – set passwords that would be difficult to guess. Using your pets name is not a strong password as this information can be uncovered likely just by looking at your social media pages. Rather take the time to develop complex passwords for extra safety. There are password management tools that can assist you with this, and help you remember your passwords for each account.
- Be careful what you share online – one of the most important practical measures you can take when it comes to being online and protecting your data is being careful about what you share/post online. The more we reveal about ourselves the easier it is for us to be targeted by cybercriminals and fall victim to cyber-related attacks. This, of course, doesn’t mean you should not use social media, but rather be careful about what you share, for your own safety and protection.
Emm explains that as parents/guardians should also consider the safety of their children when it comes to protecting their data online.
"As Internet-connected devices become more common, for work, play or school assignments, it can become more difficult for parents or guardian to protect their children from the numerous threats they could potentially face while online. Of course, as parents/guardians we need to put some processes in place to ensure our children are protected," said Emm.
Kaspersky Lab offers the following tips for parents:
- Talk to children about the potential dangers that they may face online and the need for internet safety – be real with them and use language that is appropriate – even before they get their first mobile phone or tablet PC.
- Encourage children to talk to you about anything they may have experienced online that upsets or hurts them. It is also important to talk to them openly about cyberbullying and the realities.
- Be in touch with your children and start to apply parental controls for a child’s first device, to protect them from coming across any harmful websites.
- Prepare your child for such technologies and talk to them about why parental control features on these devices are important. Explain that this is to assist parents to protect their children in the online world.
- Just as you would teach children to not talk to a stranger in real life, teach them to not talk to strangers online. If they do not know the person, they should not interact with them online. Tell them that strangers exist in the online world too and they must be careful, just as they would be in real life situations.
- Make a rule with children to not share personal information online – for example, their phone number(s), school information, or home address.
- Encourage children to be careful about what they post online – be it photos, videos, writing on someone’s wall or checking into a location.
" People have the right to be protected online, but they also have the human right of responsibility too. We encourage people to act responsibly online. This means being careful about what you post, share and say online. Further to this, it means not engaging in or participating in the online activity that is abusive or dangerous, that could cause harm. It is our responsibility to ensure we act appropriately online and encourage others to do the same – to ensure a safe digital space for everyone," said Emm.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE