At the end of May, The Guardian reported that in South-Africa a 13-year old boy was kidnapped by a local gang who demanded a ransom of 15 Bitcoins from his parents. According to the information, the parents are not fully aware of what a Bitcoin is, and moreover, they do not know that the total value of this ransom amounts to more than 120 thousand dollars. But why exactly he was chosen from the mass? Today our life is an open book on the social media sites, and the members of the victim’s family may have posted at every step by which terribly expensive car the teenager was taken by them to school, since the size of the demanded amount indicates that the kidnappers knew who would be able to pay this ransom. This extreme demand raises the question, how we and our children can feel safe in today’s digital world…
It has become almost compulsory to share a photo of the apple of our eye and his/her birthday cake, or on another picture we tag the seashore where our nursery-school child was playing in the sand during our family vacation. Anyhow, we shouldn’t forget that our ‘acquaintances’ can read anything in the posts’ background, from our data sheet, especially the sensitive data, such as full name, place and date of birth, address, e-mail address, phone number, schools, workplaces, names of pets, favourite sports team. It is absolutely enough for an illegal use of one’s identity, isn’t it? The BBC website says that parents unwittingly endanger the identity of their children and their financial security, since sharing too much content related to a child on the social media may easily lead to online fraud. According to the estimations, damages that are annually caused by online abuses could reach 670 million pounds by 2030.
However, not only parents can be careless, since, according to the Eurostat research, the young people in Hungary represent the largest proportion of those who use social media in the EU member states. Every fourth of young people is available online all day long, and 88% of them are actively present on social platforms several times a day. In Hungary every third child has already been concerned with cyberbullying, but only every tenth asks for help and only half of the parents know about the insults. In order to prevent cyberbullying (online bullying, persecution) which has a significant impact on children’s development it is important to prepare parents to talk with their children about the importance of data security (e.g.: what activities they are doing on the Internet, whom they are communicating with, what information they are sharing with the others). The National Media and Infocommunications Authority, in its new campaign, publicizes its own legal aid service, which has been operating since 2011 and mostly helps young people in solving the insults aimed at the 11 to 16 year-old age-group, whether or not they make their announcement anonymously or by name.
Adults, who, in addition to sharing personal information and photos, give data on their finances or purchase from unsecure web shops, expose themselves to danger too. The safeinternetbanking.be website is operated by the Febelfin, which is a nonprofit organization established by the players in the Belgian financial sector. Their purpose is to call the attention to the conscious and secure usage of the Internet. This organization has made several informative videos on that subject; it’s scary, how hackers can easily obtain our most personal data or they can even take the control over our life.
Viewing the frightening videos, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has recently come into force may seem to be effective. This regulation covers all kinds of data, whether it is a phone number called during a marketing campaign, a CV of a person applying for a job, or biometric data storage. We do not even think about how important is the proficiency and responsibility of the companies who manage risky personal data, such as a fingerprint. We at ANY Security Printing Company have always managed and saved data in accordance with the legal, national and international standards and requirements, since we do not simply produce documents or print invoice letters, but we also offer secure personal identification, innovative product identification and bulk data logistics. In defiance of the strict requirements, some countries try their wings at relieving the GDPR regulations. Austria is going to adopt a law that can exempt from penalties, and only the returning contraveners would be punished, writes the Kosárérték e-commercial magazine.
In order to eliminate Internet frauds, Blockpass has launched a block chain based and comprehensive ID verification portal, where after giving the data for the first time, the clients’ identity will become promptly verifiable. The profile consists of three factors: it is necessary to give their names, addresses and to upload a photo on which they are holding their ID cards. The data will be stored by an anonym cryptographic code, and the clients will use their individual Blockpass QR code in the websites for their shopping and verifications instead of giving their data again. This site cooperates with the Age Checked program that inhibits children from entering into age restricted websites.
According to the RFi Group researches, the younger British generations consider the systems of Amazon, PayPal, MasterCard and Visa the most trustworthy as regards the security of personal data. It is worth thinking over, to whom we trust the data that fundamentally determine the verifiability of our identity. Web applications want to know everything about us, who are our friends, where we are shopping, what is our field of interests, in order to find us with their offers in a targeted manner. But, in the meantime, we do not realize how many basic data we are sharing about us, for example, when we register in an online prize game in the hope of winning a luxury vacation to Thailand. Once we would sit down and try to count up on how many websites we have already given our name, address and phone number, we will probably be astonished at the result. Due to the GDPR, since 25th May 2018 our data have been theoretically deleted on the websites where we did not consent to the further data management, however, it would be advisable, if we, as users, take care of and call more attention to what kind of personal information, on what sites and with whom we are sharing, since the big brother never sleeps.