Cybersecurity: how many accepted terms and conditions have you actually read?

Nowadays, electronic devices  are the main information source about everyone. There is more personal information in our phones than what our parents, siblings or even our friends know about us.

By accessing our location, for instance, some apps always know where we are, the restaurants we like, and if we regularly travel. Knowing our economic capacity is rather easy. Not only by our income, but also for the purchases we make in physical or online stores where credit card details are entered.  

When an app collects our personal information, it is often distributed or processed through algorithms that interpret it to form behavioral models. Many companies’ goal is to create a consumer profile that will allow them better targeting specific marketing campaigns to final consumers. This certainly represents a personal data protection issue.  

We must also add that personal data transferring and processing, even when sometimes we have agreed to them, are less notorious or directly invisible when it comes to large companies or groups who hold ownership of various apps used in our daily lives. Without realizing the situation, we are allowing large corporations to acquire all our personal information from different sources (apps). 

Sharing our data poses a risk. Therefore, we find ourselves vulnerable to social engineering. This could lead to a manipulative situation through psychological and social techniques to achieve specific purposes. We are now entering the cybersecurity field. Most hackers will use these psychological techniques and information to profit by deceiving us.  

Phishing is another well-known scheme. It is commonly used by cybercriminals to scam and obtain confidential information such as passwords, credit card details, bank account details or to require invoice payments using identity theft schemes. The previous techniques discussed are considered crimes as they aim to steal our confidential data and carry out criminal acts. 

How to handle a possible phishing attack?  

017, the number to call for cybersecurity assistance

To solve this issue, the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE) has set up the toll-free number 017 to assist and solve questions regarding cybersecurity. Among the services the INCIBE 017 number offers are solving questions regarding cybersecurity, privacy, data protection, digital confidence, and safe and responsible Internet and technology usage. The service is mainly addressed to companies and professionals who use the Internet and technologies to perform commercial activities and, therefore, need to protect their assets and businesses

For Fellow Funders, the INCIBE initiative is, without a doubt, a great way to avoid serious business risks. Take for example a scheme where the alleged CEO asks the CFO to urgently pay an invoice via email. For that reason, we would like for the 017 number to become a reference for every company in order to promote a cybersecurity culture in our country. Any company with questions in matters of Internet use, new technologies or data protection will be able to solve them thanks to a team of specialized professionals that will take their calls. 

Undoubtedly, when our readers register in a new app, they should ask themselves “how many accepted terms and conditions have I read?” Stay safe.  

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