The recent theft and leakage of the personal data of 5.4m people is a stern reminder that we take cybersecurity seriously

The chilling revelation of a data leak to 5.4m of the 300+m users of Twitter on 5 Aug must have put fans of all other social media platforms on alert.

Although no passwords had been exposed, stolen personal data such as email addresses and phone numbers could eventually be used by cybercriminals to target Twitter users and people in their circle of contact.

According to the regional director (Southeast Asia and Korea) of Check Point Software Technologies, Teong Eng Guan, cyberattacks are becoming more common: their own mid-year figures show a 42% increase in global cyber incidents: “This Twitter data leak is an important reminder that it is absolutely essential for all users to take precautions when it comes to the safety of their own information. Don’t rely solely on the service provider.”

Teong offered four other precautions that all social media users, regardless of their platforms of choice, should observe fastidiously: 

  1. Beware of clickable links:
    Take extreme precautions with any email or electronic message (SMS, mobile phone alerts, advertisements, etc.) that contains links or attachments: do not click on any of them carelessly or trustingly. 
  2. Make strict password hygiene your second nature:
    Use different passwords for every account, platform and device you use; make sure they are long, complex passphrases containing a mix of uppercase/lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Change each one regularly, with a trusted password manager tool to ease the ritual.
  3. Enable multi-factor authentication:
    This additional layer of security makes life more difficult for hackers and cybercriminals.
  4. Keep your devices protected and updated:
    Ensure all software applications and devices are protected by a reputable cybersecurity solution that is updated automatically, and keep all operating systems and applications patched.

Readers should also spread these vital tips to everyone they know, and subscribe to and related publications to stay informed about cyber threats and trends.