Metro Manila · Information Security

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The Philippines is host to some of the best hackers world wide. Combined with quite a high number of thefts and stolen laptops and smart phones, information security becomes and important topic. If your gadgets get stolen, at least you can prevent the thief from browsing through your bank data.

Some Basic Rules

  • Always use firewall, anti-malware and anti-virus software. ZoneAlarm, Avira and Spybot are freely available tools that grant some basic security.
  • Don't forget to update your security software and your operating system along with all your other programs!
  • Avoid using public wireless Internet access (Free Wifi). If you frequently use it, try to connect via Virtual Privacy Networks (VPN) such as pureVPN or Cyberghost. This will encrypt all your data traffic (e.g. passwords being entered).
  • There were reports that brand-new laptops and computers are sold in the Philippines with malicious software (malware) pre-installed. To avoid that, buy only from authorized re-sellers and format and re-install software prior to using the new gadget.
  • Never leave your gadgets unattended while being in a bar or restaurant. Try to stow it away in a bag when travelling and keep the bag close to you.
  • Backup your files regularly and use encryption tools such as TrueCrypt. As backup device, try DVDs which are non-rewritable.
  • Only open emails and attachments if you know the sender. If you know the sender but the emails (header etc.) sound strange, contact the sender on a different communication channel to verify the email before opening any attachments.
  • Don't accept and use USB thumb drives that are given to your for free or as part of a bundle, raffle or whatever. Do not use USB drives you found on the street. They can contain malware.
  • Don't 'jailbreak' or 'root' your iPhone or Android device.
  • Change passwords regularly, do not note them down, use symbols, capital characters and numbers - at least 9 of them.
  • Don't let people see you typing esp. the password.
  • Switch off Wifi and Bluetooth whenever you are not using it.

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