In recent years, cybercrime has become a global concern and has become part of the agenda of banking institutions, governments, and players in the digital world, such as telecommunications operators, websites, and email providers, among others. To get an idea of the “damage”, 65% of adults in the world have been victims of some type of cybercrime, according to a recent report by Norton, a company that operates in the field of digital security.
Cybercrimes occur in many ways, from scams on online platforms, fraud on social network profiles, to obtaining bank and credit card passwords, usually through phishing, email in which the hacker pretends to be your bank or credit card company. One of them, however, has drawn attention, especially here in Brazil. I’m referring to WhatsApp cloning. With over 1.5 billion users worldwide, this app, which is among the favorites of Brazilians, is responsible for a large part of the exchange of messages in real-time for free.
Originally, apps capable of monitoring phone numbers were designed for parents to control their children’s conversations, habits, and commutes, a safety measure. In this sense, the activity does not represent something illicit, since the person responsible for the child must protect them. However, when a person has their right to privacy violated, it is a crime.
Anyone who has been hacked knows that the headache is not a small one. In addition to the risks of having someone impersonating you and thus creating all sorts of embarrassments, putting even people close at risk, there is also the danger of the attacker being able to change passwords on social networks and even banking applications, which could cause financial losses. To prevent this from happening, some precautionary measures are needed. The main one is to enable the application’s dual authentication feature. The procedure is quick and helps a lot. Another barrier that can be raised against hackers is not using WhatsApp Web, a feature that allows you to synchronize your device with a computer. This makes the application even more vulnerable to attacks.
It is equally important not to send messages with sensitive content by email. If necessary, a safer option is to use the good old SMS, which has the most robust protection of your mobile operator’s network.
Here in Brazil, the General Data Protection Law, approved last year, will enter into force in August 2020. In Europe and the United States, the law is already in force, and companies that manipulate and store third-party data must demonstrate that they use appropriate processes and practices to store, manipulate and delete data. They even need to have contingency plans for any information leaks resulting from cyber-attacks, human error, or internal fraud. It should also be noted that sensitive data, such as photos and fingerprints, require an even greater degree of protection. The law comes at a time when information is the most valuable asset and should result in a much safer online environment.