Losar Digital Security Tips
Protect yourself from targeted attacks by following Tibet Action’s online security tips
Losar Tashi Delek! Happy Tibetan New Year! It’s a tradition to clean one’s home before Losar; at Tibet Action we’re cleaning up our digital home to ensure a safer year ahead. Join us by following these four Losar online security tips:
THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK
Always be wary of links, especially from unfamiliar senders. Before clicking a link, always hover your mouse cursor over it to check its authenticity. You can also copy it (without clicking!) and scan it for potential malware at this helpful website: https://virustotal.com
DETACH FROM ATTACHMENTS
Attachments are an easy place to hide malicious software, so beware when sending or receiving attachments. Preview (instead of downloading) attachments if you can, and double check with the sender before opening. And remember: there are many other ways to share files!
THINK BEFORE YOU SHARE
Misinformation and disinformation is on the rise and each of us has the power to stop its spread by thinking twice before sharing. Ask yourself: Is the source of the information reputable, or does it cite reputable sources? Who published it? Social media is a powerful tool, and we all need to be mindful before we share.
CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
If you are on social media (and who isn’t?) protect yourself by cleaning up your digital closet. Remove fake accounts from your friends list, secure your privacy by deleting private information that’s visible to others, and be mindful of what you share on your social media.
Think before you click
Have you ever got these kinds of messages containing links on your messaging apps on your mobile devices from an unknown person?
- “Did you know this funny video of you is posted online?”
- “Click here to read the latest urgent news on the situation inside Tibet”
- “An important message from the Dalai Lama”
It is tempting to click on these links, isn’t it?
This is because the messages are designed to take advantage of things we care about. Unfortunately, these links are often malicious and will take you to a website where your computer or phone can get infected with a virus.
Don’t just open attachments or click on links you receive in your email, Facebook, WhatsApp, and other communication apps. Unless you were expecting it, there’s a strong chance that the attachment or link contains a virus that will dangerously infect your computer or phone as soon as you open it.
Deteach from attachments
If you are someone who thinks “I have nothing to hide. Why should I be afraid?”, then think again. Many of these attacks are designed to steal information, and what we fail to recognize as information is the human network we have online or on our devices. The Tibetan community is small and incredibly connected with the majority living under direct threat from China, our responsibility is much higher. Although everyone everywhere should have the responsibility because such negligence could have real-life consequences to someone in their network or their extended network.
THINK BEFORE YOU SHARE
Most of us have received some video, memes or massage on our social media accounts that say something like this:
- “Drink warm, salty water so that the Coronavirus cannot reach your lungs.”
- “Take lots of Vitamin C to boost your immunity so that you won’t get infected with Coronavirus”
- “His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said to drink black tea to prevent Coronavirus”
- “Please share this video of a Tibetan speaking the truth”
Our first reaction is to share these so that others can also get this news or intended benefits, but a lot of these information are unreliable and can result in bad advice being shared or fake information leading to health problems in the community.
There are two types of such information, some are misinformation which is fake information and might have been forwarded or shared with the best of intention but can cause real harm. Others are disinformation which are used to create disharmony and discord in the community.
So, think before you share.
Clean Your Social Media
If you are on social media (and who isn’t?) protect yourself by cleaning up your digital closet. Remove fake accounts from your friends list, secure your privacy by deleting private information that’s visible to others, and be mindful of what you share on your social media. At the same time, from the beginning of your journey online you have sent or received so many emails – personal and work-related.
Let Losar be the start of new beginnings by cleaning up your digital space whether it be social media or your online files and photos.