Safer Internet Day 2024 is quite timely in the context of the general concern about data as restricted access to various popular applications is imposed, resulting in users circumventing the new rules by downloading replacements. In an era where large volumes of data are constantly being collected and analysed, the risks of data breaches, identity theft and privacy violations are more acute than ever. So on February 6 - the day that serves as an annual reminder of the importance of safeguarding personal information in our digitized world - Kaspersky experts are highlighting the need for users to take proactive measures when it comes to data security.
2023 sparked controversy in several countries over the restriction of certain popular apps in Brazil, Ireland and Japan. In the US, consultations on restricting access to TikTok led to restrictions of the Chinese app on government devices in more than half of the states. But customers are not always willing to give up their favorite apps when it comes to popular services. Faced with the bans, users have resorted to alternative means of accessing content, such as installing fake apps or illegal copies.
The fake apps used by those trying to circumvent restrictions are often poorly developed, with unclear privacy policies, or violate users' rights altogether. Moreover, many of these apps tend to disappear after a while for various reasons, such as insufficient number of users, which means that sensitive data may end up in the hands of third parties.
To avoid such unpleasant situations, Kaspersky experts share several tips:
1. There is no need to rush when it comes to installing anything on your devices
Don't be too quick to rush to install an application when you're not about to install any apps on your devices. Rushing to find an alternative can put your information at risk, as these types of apps or pirated copies of services may not care enough about the security of users' personal data. Before installing any unverified app on any device, it's always worth weighing the pros and cons. The best and safest option always remains the official app download stores.
3. Sharing a lot of personal data is not a safe option
It is preferable to minimize the amount of personal data an application collects, as there is a risk of unnecessary disclosure or misuse of personal data due to inadequate protection measures. In addition, once personal data is shared, it is often difficult to control its distribution and use, which can potentially lead to long-term privacy issues. To avoid such problems, try to limit access to photos, contacts and location to those applications that can work without them. This applies to the microphone too: restricting access will ensure that apps don't collect personal data while eavesdropping on what you say.
4. Modern security features can keep personal data safe online
Modern security solutions have the ability to prevent applications from accessing personal information, alert users if their phone numbers and other information have been leaked, and warn them if they have downloaded a malicious file. There are also solutions to help improve the security of personal data by following simple instructions