The Role of Cyber Security for Individuals: Be Careful of Personal Data Targeted by Hackers
Along with the development of digitalization, the number of internet users has also increased. According to the We Are Social 2023 report, the number of internet users in Indonesia in 2023 will increase by 5.4% compared to 2022 to 213 million users. Without realizing it, all activities carried out online will leave data in the form of digital traces, for example, when registering for applications, shopping, and communicating. In the 21st century, data has become something very important and needs to be kept secure. Even in the speech of the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, during the 2023 National Press Day, he mentioned the term “Data is a valuable ‘New Oil’.” The statement refers to companies that collect personal data to exploit and influence user preferences. With all the use of individual data for various purposes, personal data is a target for cybercriminals.
Personal Data and Things You Need to Know
Referring to the Draft Personal Data Protection Law (RUU PDP), personal data is defined as data of a person who is identified or can be identified directly or indirectly with various systems. Personal data contains information such as full name, gender, nationality, religion, health information, child data, and much more. Personal data is used to identify or serve as an identity for someone when using the internet. Unfortunately, there are still many people who need to pay more attention to the security of personal data protection until cyber attacks occur. Apart from that, amidst rapid advances in technology, hackers are increasingly aggressive in stealing personal data. As a result, companies now also need to be more aggressive in protecting the security of user data. According to Zippia’s research results in 2022, there was an increase in the number of companies targeted by cyber attacks in the period 2019 to 2021. In 2019 it was 78 percent; in 2020, it was 80.7 percent and increased again to 86.2 percent.
Personal data has now become a valuable ‘commodity’ because hackers not only steal it but also trade it illegally. One of the recent cases is the trading of personal data by Bjorka. Hacker Bjorka managed to steal 34 million passport data and sell it via dark websites for US$ 10,000. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the security of personal data.
3 Reasons Why It’s Important to Protect Personal Data
1. Prevent misuse of personal data
Personal data is individual data on social media, which is intended as an identification tool. Cybercriminals often steal personal data to misuse it; for example, they commit fraud by identifying themselves as victims, selling personal data on illegal sites, and making online loans. Quoting from the BBC, in 2019, there was a case of misuse of personal data for online loans. Although the number of victims was not stated, this is still a concern for the public. Apart from that, on July 14, 2023, there was a leak of 377 million Indonesian population data, which was allegedly stolen from the Directorate of Population and Civil Registry. The data was then sold by someone under the pseudonym “RRR.” The worrying thing is that hackers have the mother’s full name data, which is a layer of security in the banking sector.
2. Avoid Losses
In the previous discussion, misuse of personal data will certainly cause losses, ranging from embarrassment and loss of trust to financial losses. When hackers have access to confidential information, such as financial information, emails, and passwords, they can easily be exploited to make online purchases with linked accounts, send fake messages to deceive, or even access bank accounts. Apart from that, misuse of data can also tarnish a person’s reputation. Therefore, the abuse of personal data by hackers can have a negative impact on the victim.
3. Right to Safeguard and Control Over Personal Data
Globally, every individual has control over the privacy of personal data, as contained in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. Indonesia also has laws regarding the rights of personal data owners, which are regulated in the PDP Bill. Some of the rights include that data owners have the right to use personal data, change data to be accurate, request access and copies, delete data, cancel consent to the processing of personal data, raise objections, and other rights.
How to Keep Personal Data Secure
In an effort to maintain the security of personal data, synergy is needed between individuals as data owners and companies and agencies that collect data. By:
1. Using a Strong Password
It’s best to avoid passwords that contain information that is easy to guess, such as full name and date of birth. A strong password needs to be unique, for example, a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, symbols, or other individual password formats. However, users need to make sure the password remains easy to remember.
2. Enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that ensures hackers or other parties cannot access even if they know the password. With authentication, users need to enter a special security code every time they access data or accounts. Some big brands that have taken advantage of two-factor authentication are Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
3. Stop accessing any unknown links or documents
This is related to cybercrime, namely ransomware and sniffing. Ransomware is a virus-filled program that can destroy and limit an individual’s access. Meanwhile, sniffing is the act of tapping into the internet network. Recently, cyber sniffing crimes often occur via short messages, sending packages to wedding invitations. According to a Kompas report in January 2023, there were 492 sniffing victims with losses of up to 12 billion Rupiah.
With all the conveniences offered by digitalization, the public ignores the serious threat of cybercrime lurking. However, hackers continue to increase efforts to steal personal data. All parties, including individuals, companies, and governments, need to work together to protect personal data from the threat of cybercrime. With the right actions, you will keep personal data safe and avoid potential losses that could arise due to misuse of data.
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