how to protect your data online


There were 1,025,968 phishing attacks in the first quarter of 2022, the most active quarter ever monitored, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reported.This was the first time the number of phishing attacks exceeded one million during that period.

There were 384,291 attacks in March 2022, a record high for the month, according to the APWG.

Almost all types of digital fraud against ordinary users are perpetrated through social engineering. This means that criminals often use various psychological tricks, for example, posing as friends and asking for a loan or urgent money; offering to donate money for a child’s treatment; introducing themselves as bank employees and asking to send personal data. New schemes appear all the time: fraudsters are constantly changing and improving their strategies and mechanisms for obtaining confidential information, which makes even experienced users vulnerable. However, following a few simple rules will help protect yourself from most online tricks.

The main rule of communication on the Internet is not to give personal and banking information to anyone. If your interlocutor asks for the number of your bank card, its expiration date, CVC code, or SMS password, it is likely that they’re trying to deceive you.

Messengers use a whole arsenal of tools to protect user privacy. For example, in Viber, which was one of the top three most secure messengers in 2021, all key functions are protected by end-to-end encryption by default, including personal and group chats, personal audio and video calls, media sharing, and the security of all connected user devices. This means that encryption keys are only on correspondence participants’ devices, and no one can access messages, audio and video calls and media files. Therefore, under no circumstances will third parties be able to decrypt a message.

In addition, the messenger has a number of functions for additional protection.

Disappearing Messages mode in Viber is useful if you need to share confidential information – for example, a card number or the code from the intercom – with your loved ones. Available in private and group chats, the mode allows you to set a timer from ten seconds to one day, which starts after the message is read by the interlocutor and deletes it after a set time. If the interlocutor takes a screenshot of such a message, Viber will notify the sender.

Viber Hidden Chats allows you to hide individual chats from your list of messages. They can only be accessed by entering a predefined PIN code. The function will be useful if several people are using the mobile device where the messenger is installed.

To access these conversations, you will need to enter a password, which you set in advance. At any time, the chat can be moved to the main list and the password can be removed. If we are talking about a PC, it will be reasonable to also set a password for the web version of the messenger.

Message Requests protect Viber users from unwanted contacts. Thus, messages from those who are not saved in your contacts are sent to a separate folder. If you accept the request, then this chat will be moved to the main folder with chats.

In Viber, you can hide the ‘Seen’ Status of messages from your interlocutor – so other users won’t see whether you’ve read their message or not.

Verification of brand accounts in Viber ensures that the user is communicating with an official representative of the company, not scammers who created a fake organization profile. All verified companies in Viber are marked with a blue “tick” in the profile, which gives you the assurance that you are contacting a verified account․

Viber is constantly improving ways to protect users from cybercriminals, making communications between its users safer. If you do suspect something is wrong, report a suspicious profile by pressing the “Block” or “That’s Spam” button on Viber – messenger support will see your request and verify your account. In this way, you will not only help yourself, but also protect others from potential abusers.

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