CYBERSECURITY company Kaspersky suggests adding another practical and smart resolution to the 2024 list: to protect precious data by clearing your digital clutter.
Digital clutter refers to the accumulation of unnecessary or disorganized digital files, data, or information on electronic devices or in online spaces. It can include redundant files, outdated documents, unused applications, and other digital content that clutters and hampers the efficiency of digital environments.
It not only takes up valuable storage space but can also slow down devices, making it difficult to find important information.
“When it comes to cybersecurity, education is the most powerful form of defense. The more we educate and prepare ourselves, the more likely that we can minimize the risks to our personal data and money,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.
Kaspersky data showed that in 55 percent of cases, people regularly revise the contents of their devices and delete unused docs and apps. In 32 percent of cases, people sort their digital clutter occasionally, and in 13 percent of cases, users do not try to delete any docs and apps at all.
According to a report by Kaspersky, the most commonly stored data on devices includes general photos and videos (90 percent), travel-related photos and personal emails (tied at 89 percent each), address and contact information (84 percent), and personal messages through SMS/IM (79 percent).
A research that Kaspersky ran with OnePoll in 2019 showed that one’s fridge can show the security risk of this human habit. Two-thirds (66 percent) of those who have bought the same item to go in their fridge twice by accident have also found it difficult to locate a document or file while at work.
In 2023, the Philippines experienced a minimum of three significant cyber incidents, eliciting fear, anger, and frustration among Filipinos.
From ransomware attacks to data leaks that compromised massive public data and personal financial information, these threatened not just the government and businesses but especially ordinary people who didn’t think they would be affected until it happened.
“A few simple changes in the beginning will go a long way towards protecting yourself and your data. Stay committed and most importantly, get help. There are so many resources, tools, and people that you can count on for support to help you keep your resolutions,” added Yeo.
To become digitally safe this new year, Kaspersky recommends kissing passwords goodbye.
“We saw one major improvement in network security in 2022: giants Apple, Google and Microsoft simultaneously introduced passwordless sign-ins. Instead of a password, your device stores a unique cryptographic key for each site. There’s no need to type it in and it’s extremely difficult to steal. We recommend switching wherever it’s offered as it will slash the risk of your account being hijacked,” the firm said.
Kaspersky also recommends giving minimal information to non-critical services (primarily online stores and commercial digital services) by not specifying last names or social media accounts, and generally skipping optional fields. And use disposable e-mail addresses and phone numbers as contact information.
It also suggests getting away from toxic social media, stopping doom scrolling, keeping private and work lives separate and observing cyber hygiene.