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Halloween cyber safety: staying spooky but secure

Halloween is synonymous with tales of ghosts, goblins, and ghouls. It’s a season that celebrates the macabre and allows us to don disguises, share frights, and delight in sweet treats. However, the digital age has created a new kind of scare – the cybercriminal. Just as you’d secure your home against potential Halloween mischief, it’s vital to protect your digital life during this season, especially if you’re planning a Halloween vacation. Here in the Philippines, the season is extended due to the long weekend brought about by the BSK elections. To help you maintain a secure digital experience, here are some prime strategies to fend off those virtual ghouls.

Photo generated by midjourney.

Here are some top tips to keep the cyber-ghouls at bay:

1. Beware of Halloween-themed phishing scams: Cybercriminals love using timely themes. Watch out for suspicious emails or messages about Halloween deals, offers, or events. Never click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.

2. Use strong, unique passwords: If you’re booking accommodations or purchasing costumes online, use strong and distinct passwords for each site. Consider using a password manager to keep track.

3. Enable two-factor authentication: Many platforms offer two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification besides just your password.

4. Stay private on public Wi-Fi: If you’re traveling, you might be tempted to use public Wi-Fi at hotels, cafes, or airports. Always use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) when accessing public Wi-Fi to encrypt your data and protect your personal information.

5. Secure your devices: Ensure that your smartphones, tablets, and laptops have the latest security updates and are password-protected. Install Find My iPhone or Find My Device to locate and wipe the device remotely if lost or stolen.

6. Be cautious with social sharing: While it’s tempting to share vacation photos in real time, this can signal to cyber criminals that your home is empty. Consider posting your Halloween vacation snaps after you return.

7. Check your bank statements: Monitor your bank and credit card statements for unusual activity. Report to your bank immediately if you see unusual charges. Quick detection can minimize potential damage.

8. Beware of e-skimming: This is when cybercriminals introduce malicious code into e-commerce platforms to capture credit card information. Stick to reputable online retailers and use payment methods that offer additional security features, like one-time-use credit card numbers.

9. Educate and update: Before heading out on vacation, take a few minutes to educate family members about the risks and ensure that all devices are updated with the latest software and security patches.

10. Backup before you pack up: Ensure you’ve backed up all important data on any device you take. If anything happens to the device while you’re on vacation, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your data is safe.

11. Review permissions on apps: Some apps may request access to your camera, contacts, or location. Only grant permissions that are necessary for the app’s function.

Halloween is a celebration of imagination, creativity, and lighthearted frights. By staying vigilant online, you’ll guarantee that the only chills you get are of the delightful kind. Keep it spooky but secure! Additionally, as the BSKE elections approach, vote for the candidate you believe best serves our community. Remember, you deserve the leaders you vote for.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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