The knowledge you need

Issue 3 2021 Editor's Choice

Sharing and geotagging photos, uploading documents to the cloud, installing a new application and even when browsing online retail stores, we deal with personal data management daily, whether we realise it or not. Often, it is not clear what data we share and most importantly, who are the final recipients of the data and that makes us vulnerable.

One of the threats that online users of all ages, professions and backgrounds face is doxing, the practice of gathering personal information with the purpose of publishing it or using it in some other way to harm somebody. To help users take back control of their data and protect from doxing, Kaspersky privacy experts have developed a comprehensive checklist on how to handle one’s private data responsibly, without it becoming a headache (See www.kaspersky.com/blog/anti-doxing-checklist/).

Kaspersky research shows that looking after private data has finally become a mainstream concern, with 50% of consumers globally claiming they would no longer use an online service provider following a data breach and 57% expressing worry about their security and privacy being affected by ‘smart-’ and Internet-connected devices. This concern is justified, because online users face data risks on a daily basis.

We are still learning exactly how to build our relationships with technology, so we can better trust it with our personal data, as well as use it more mindfully to avoid potential anxiety or burnout. For example, the innocent photo of a teen with a newly-issued ID may end up in the hands of financial scammers. Your photos from the latest party might surface online without approval and your kid’s smartwatch might be broadcasting their live location 24/7.

While some of the risks – such as data leaks and ransomware attacks on organisations – are largely beyond a user’s control, other threats, such as doxing, can be tackled by users themselves. Doxing is made possible because there are so many public channels (forums, social media and application records) where user data is exposed, but that can be prevented.

Digital risks do not mean that users should stop expressing themselves online – and it certainly is not something that most people are willing to do anyway. Technology and innovation should improve lives and strengthen our mental welfare. As such, digital wellbeing should be a top priority for all, especially during the challenging times we live in. This is why digital citizens need to learn how to treat personal data online responsibly – similarly to how we treat our finances and take care of physical belongings.

Kaspersky privacy experts, with help from external experts, created a short guide that will ease the risks and stress of data loss and diminish doxing potential for a user. The checklist, which is split into three sections, addresses how to treat the data we do and do not control, such as browser activity and application tracking and other people’s data that you may come across. By providing users with the right knowledge and tools to help navigate the Internet safely, they can become empowered and experience less digital stress, to enjoy technology, worry-free.

Reader can also learn what doxing is and how to protect yourself and your close ones from it in Kaspersky’s free online course at https://education.kaspersky.com/en/lesson/53/page/291.

Read the Definitive Checklist: how to protect your data online at www.kaspersky.com/blog/anti-doxing-checklist or download a printable version at https://media.kasperskydaily.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/92/2021/04/28134211/Definitive-checklist-how-to-protect-your-data-online.pdf




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