Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao

Be Cyber-SMART: Cybersecurity in the Rise of Technology

by Jesson P. Pulan


Beyond what we can see from our screens lies an array of looming threats that could potentially damage our digital lives.
Cybercrimes—which can easily be defined as crimes involving computers and networks—continues to evolve at a pace matching technology.
Now, more than ever, we are susceptible to these attacks. Which is why institutions such as Mapúa Malayan Colleges Mindanao has partnered with telecommunication and digital service companies such as Smart to prevent the spread of these attacks.
Getting our cyber hygiene on track should be our priority, inasmuch as we need to invest endlessly in new and advanced security tools. Managing our cyber hygiene may seem to be an unpopular opinion for most people because it seems so light, but such a simple thing is essential especially at this day and age when cyber security is a crucial problem.
Some, or even most of us might have little to no interest in this issue. After all, talks about fake news and data privacy mostly concern those who have experienced it firsthand, and hardly ever those who are uninvolved.
However, complacency and unawareness might just be what victimizes us.
Let us look from the eyes of a cyber-criminal. We don’t need to be detectives to know that complacency and unawareness are the open doorways for cybercrime to take root.
That being said, the fact still stands—awareness of responsible social media use will distance us from these attacks.

On Data Privacy, Security and Internet Safety

Data Privacy and Data Security—although different in their underlying philosophy—are equally important for Internet Safety.
The difference comes with how data is being protected, who they are protecting the data from, and who is responsible for that protection.
Data Security is basically concerned with securing confidential data or information. It is focused on the prevention of unauthorized access to data—which needs assistance from tools and technology such as firewalls, captcha, user authentication, and other internal security practices.
On the other hand, Data Privacy is concerned with ensuring that the data is used compliantly and with consent from its owner. It’s less about the process of protection, and more on responsible data storage, transportation, and usage.
To put it simply, Privacy is limiting access, and Security is the process or tool for limiting that access.
To put it another way, Data Privacy is more of the role of users, whereas Data Security is more of the role of technology to help users protect their data.
Ultimately, both are impeding the possibility of cyber threats, and are working hand-in-hand for a more secure and better-protected Internet access.

Social Engineering

In the context of information security, social engineering is not as good as it sounds. It is a manipulation technique that exploits human error to gain private access to important information.
Scams based on social engineering is built around how people think and act. Among most attacks, you’ll mostly find yourself misled into a heightened state of emotion such as curiosity, excitement, and fear, that will compel you to take irrational or risky actions on the Internet.
Have you ever encountered ignoring the prompts of your computer as you visit a website?
Also, have you tried clicking on an email attachment that includes details on a free offer or free software?
It might not show, but those are avenues for social engineering attacks. More so if you are not even aware of it.

Spotting and Combating Fake News

Nowadays, fake news continues to be one of the most rampant issues that our world is facing.
A lot of people take everything at face value, without making an effort to research or probe into it. In effect, false information propagates uncontrollably.
This is where cyber threats make their entrance.
Imagine waking up one day to find your name all over social media claiming that you did something that you never thought you would do. As much as this might not concern you if you’ve never experienced such, it is important to know that cybercrime can target anyone.
As long as some people believe a fake source, false data will continue being distributed. Of course, agencies and organizations advocating against this issue will work meticulously to root out the perpetrators.
However, as they say, prevention is always better than cure. Inasmuch as we need to rely on digital experts and developers to keep our security systems up-to-date, we also need to augment our ways of handling our social media accounts and being well-informed about how we should approach everything we encounter on the Internet.
Taking a trip down memory lane, acquiring cybersecurity almost seemed to be an inconvenience back then. But now, it is a necessity around the clock. What good would years of effort upon building a great digital reputation bring if it only takes minutes—seconds even—to take it all down?
Be smart. Not the typical kind of smart, but SMART.
Secure your digital devices such as your computers and mobile phones by always keeping them out of other’s reach. Manage the privacy of your social media accounts through exploring your privacy settings and making strong and long passwords. Activate your security tools—firewalls, anti-virus, etc., and keep them up to date. Recognize and understand the risks of cyber-attacks to keep yourself protected as soon as possible. Lastly, Think about what you make public and available on your social media.
Beyond what we can see from our screens lies an array of looming threats that could potentially damage our digital lives.
But in front of your screen is YOU, who can potentially put a stop to it all. #StayCyberSMART