Which character are you from your favorite TV show? What does your horoscope say about your future, career or love life? What animal do you see and how does it define your personality? These are just some of the online quizzes seen and taken by many netizens. For a few minutes, internet users are entertained, but at what cost?
With the Philippines ranking as one of the countries prone to cybersecurity attacks, Acer Philippines’ Managing Director Manuel Wong warns that Filipinos willingly expose themselves to data breach and phishing tactics with a few simple clicks of an online quiz.
“Online quizzes can give you a few seconds of entertainment, but they’re powerful tools for companies to get valuable personal information and even money without you noticing,” said Wong. “You’ll be lucky if the worst you can experience is a deluge of advertising, but there are real, bigger problems behind these quizzes that people should be aware of. Companies can dig up personal and financial information as soon as you click ‘accept’ or ‘allow’. Even if you yourself don’t input data, it can be passed along because you unwittingly allowed it.”
Here are a few tips to protect oneself from common cyberattacks that happen daily:
Don’t spill the beans.
Letting the internet guess your personality may seem harmless, but you often don’t realize that you’re already halfway through an online security threat. All you need to do is take an online personality quiz — key in some personal info, give your social media profile and answer a few questions.
Mr. Wong said, “Online quizzes are a popular tool for fraudsters because they spread so quickly. When you participate, you’re giving away more than your personality type. Simple information like your birthday, your favorite pet, your list of friends, your first car – you can be accidentally giving away answers to security questions. Sometimes even a simple email address gets sold to other companies, and, before you know it, your inbox is suddenly filled with spam you never opted to get. Internet-users must not give out too much personal information to untrusted sites, programs, and even social media platforms.”
Watch out for strange URLs
Just like the Trojan horse, online quizzes oftentimes have an appealing exterior while carrying unsafe content. Some tests, especially those that ask you to log-in, are click-baits, which means these were designed to capture your interest or mislead you to dubious pages that extract your personal data after clicking.
Mr. Wong said, “Be wary of unknown sites that create the quizzes you see online. If it’s from a source you have not heard of, do not fall for the trap by clicking it. The URLs of such pages usually have toggled case characters and lots of typographical errors. To keep a safe online environment, be cautious of the links you share on social networking sites, as well. If the sites you share are unsafe, you might be spreading threats to others.”
Keep your own security settings tight.
With all the traps that lead to cyberattacks and data heist, it pays to know how to make social media accounts work to your favor. If you haven’t updated your privacy settings in a while, it’s a good idea to do it now. Limiting who can see what’s on your feed is the quickest and easiest first step to securing your information. You can even view your Activity Log and edit tagged photos. If you’re using multiple devices, added measure of logging-out is highly encouraged.
“Devices are smart and we, the users, have to be smarter. While we enjoy using these innovations, unfortunately, we also need to be reminded of the security risks they bring. Along with these basic practices, we encourage consumers to choose reliable products, hardware and software, that prioritizes security,” advised Wong.
Acer is known to develop trusted software that are designed to protect consumers’ information from theft, such as Acer Security Suite. It is a complete hardware and software package that encrypts any program file, computer, and user-set passwords and can leverage the trusted platform module (TPM) technology for totally secure computing.
Guided by the company’s mission of breaking barriers between people and technology and in celebration of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Acer aims to impart knowledge about the risks of technological advancements and how Filipinos can protect themselves from these cyberthreats.