ARTICLE – Staying Safe On The Internet

Press Release
April 16, 2020

From downloading productivity and entertainment apps, exploring new ways of conducting virtual meetings to decompressing with some online shopping after finally “leaving the office”, we spend a considerable amount of time online now more than ever. With the Movement Control Order (MCO) in effect in Malaysia, day-to-day activities such as buying groceries, checking in with our loved ones, and meetings are done virtually, but this also means that we are more exposed to vulnerabilities on the internet.

As we adjust to the interim indoor lifestyle and work-from-home routine, here are several things we should be mindful of to stay cybersafe at all times.

1. Ensure that your antivirus and security software are updated.

Never take chances with your smart devices such as your tablet, phone and laptop. While most would already have an antivirus software installed on their device, we should regularly update the programmes as they help to protect against viruses, worms, Trojan horses and anything that can cause your smart device to fall ill. These menacing intruders might even have the capability to delete files, access personal data or worse, attack other devices which are signed onto the same network.

2. Ensure that the video meetings you join are secure.

Video calls are commonly used, especially with more people working from home during this season. While it is added convenience to our remote working life, it is important to ensure that the video call is secure as you would not want any unwanted guests joining a private video call. Start by setting a unique password for the video call meet. Another tip would be to ensure that none of your video participants are recording the meeting, whether through their mobile device or through the in-built function of the software, especially if there is any sensitive information shared during the call.

3. Be aware of suspicious emails and messages.

Only trust information from verified or official sources. One way that you can do this is by verifying the email links or the sender of the email prior to opening any emails that seem suspicious. Criminal activity by hackers and fraudsters exploiting people’s uncertainty and fears are rampant in the current state of affairs. Never reveal any sensitive information such as passwords and credit card details via email.

4. Ensure that a secured platform is used for any virtual meetings.

Avoid using any third-party application like Zoom or Google Hangout for work meetings where possible and reserve these for personal catch-ups with friends and family instead. Even so, remember to stay secured by turning off the video and audio function when not in use. When taking confidential calls, avoid using third-party applications such as WhatsApp, WeChat or Telegram and opt for added-security platforms like Microsoft Teams instead which allows hosts to send out a one-time meeting link or set a password.

You can access almost anything on the internet from every corner of the world – entertainment, retail, financial services, productivity tools, you name it. While the internet affords a certain level of anonymity, there are increasing ways in which your personal information can be at risk. When you are online, be on guard to protect your information – always think twice before you share, click or accept anything, at all times.

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