It is well known that technological advances aren’t always used to improve and to expand our knowledge and horizons. Some people take advantage of these advances, to take of somebody else’s identity and steal information, as well as to defame a person’s or a company’s name and reputation.
Rafael Núñez Aponte, MásQueDigital’s CEO, explained to the weekly newspaper “Las Verdades de Miguel” that there are many ways for a person to become a victim of illegal acts on the web.
One of the modalities used by cybercriminals is phishing, which is the usurpation of somebody’s identity to get personal information, such as baking data, passwords and else, creating a clear path to robbery and other criminal acts.
Rafa Nuñez explains how it is done:
“The cybercriminal disguises himself as a representative of a company; and through emails, phone calls, or any other sort of communication, he will ask for detailed information about passwords, security questions and so on. The criminal could even create websites that look very like the bank’s official site, making the victim bite the bait and end up cheated”.
Another modality is the use of hoax to post false or compromising information to generate a campaign that would discredit a person or a company. Rafael Núñez explains that Whatsapp is one of the most used platforms for this type of cybercrime, due to how fast information can be spread on groups and broadcasted messages. A fact similar to this occurs on social networks, where information can travel faster than ever, making it really difficult to verify how true or trustworthy the source really is. This, in most cases, leads to people panicking and worrying over nothing.
To avoid being victim of any of these cybercrime modalities, Rafael Núñez recommends:
- Creating a solid password on your smartphone: in case of lost or robbery, all the information stock in there will remain there, making it hard or almost impossible for criminals to get it out.
- Activating double-factor authentication: this will ask the owner to enter a code sent to other device or media, in addition to the usual password and username.
- Verify the information before sending it: each time you receive a message and before resending it, make sure the information in it is true and has been confirmed and verify. This, to prevent spreading rumours.
- Talk to your children: explain to them how the internet works, make sure to mention that there are sites that just aren’t suitable for them to watch, that they should never accept friend requests from people they don’t know, especially if that person is older than them. Don’t forget to mention how vulnerable we all are online and that our personal information is our most precious asset, so we should never take it for granted.