Cyber ​​hygiene requires critical thinking and privacy protection

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As the world continues to go digital, there are more and more threats we need to take precautions against. Reports by Paul Budde.

TO HIS farewell speech last week, Telstra’s outgoing CEO Andy Penn mentioned that the cyber threat has never been as serious as it is today. He mentioned the deteriorating geopolitical situation as well as the big change in the way criminals operate in the cyber domain.

One thing is certain: to take advantage of all the advantages of the digital economy, we must be much more vigilant about the deluge of information that we receive and/or to which we have access.

As we see all around us, there are many people, organizations and even governments who are more than willing to (wrongly) use digital media for their own gain and if that includes misinformation, lies, half-truths, scam, hacking, phishing, etc., they are more than happy to use these tools in advertising, politics, ideologies and conspiracies.

For too long we have been used to situations where the truth is the norm. Of course, all of the above misconduct was also present, but on a much smaller scale. In general, we were able to trust our politicians, our business leaders and the media.

Since social media this has changed dramatically and we as societies now have to learn to be much more critical in our thinking. While social media elicits emotional reactions in us, to which we respond instantly and/or indicate that we like it or not, we need to use reason and perhaps pause before reacting instantly. Often we have the impression that something may not be true, a hunch. If so, take a break and check it out.

This brings me to an email I recently received from Data protection. It claims to help people and organizations learn the ins and outs of another part of cyber hygiene.

He published a interesting guide on how to find unknown phone numbers, as many of us have been in situations where we received calls from numbers we don’t recognize.

He provides interesting advice.

Google any unknown phone number (mobile, landline, toll-free) before calling them back. Type all the details you have and use quotation marks to ensure that the term you are looking for is searched for as a phrase. If it’s a legitimate business, you’ll get plenty of results that match your search. If you end up with too many links to 800Notes, who called us, Who’s calling me or similar websites, it could indicate that the phone number belongs to a scammer.

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Social networks have millions of active users who share information every day. Try searching for phone numbers on social media sites. Type the phone number into the site’s search bar and see what comes up. Knowing the number can help you track down the owner, provided they haven’t deleted it or set their profile to private.

There are also people finder apps and websites (such as TruePeopleSearch). They can provide insight into much more detail than a person’s name and phone number. You can find addresses, relatives, associates, and even criminal records. You can also check what information they have about you and, if necessary, take steps to change or remove information.

many online White pages Directories can also be used to find a reverse phone. However, tracking down the person behind a prepaid cell phone number can be tricky, as prepaid SIM cards can be purchased anywhere without providing any personal information. For privacy reasons, some countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, have restricted reverse lookup of phone numbers.

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Finding international numbers is trickier, but there are websites that offer such services. Insert the number you are looking for with “+” before the number. Unfortunately, you almost certainly end up with only the country or area code and not the caller’s name.

Dataprot tested Comfi international reverse telephone search. His searches provided the country and network provider, as well as the city or location of the exchange. SearchDirectoryYellow also provided instructions and links on how to find the number in the telephone directory of the country in question.

People who are concerned about their safety and want to hide their browsing history and protect their privacy when looking up people and their phone numbers are advised to find a good VPN service before you start searching online. Dataprot also provides some details on such services.

Finally, research old phone numbers. Surprisingly, Dataprot recommends using Ancestry. It’s the largest genealogy company in the world, and its website is filled with genealogical and historical records — and indeed, phone books, too.

Paul Budde is an Australian freelance columnist and managing director of Paul Budde Consulting, an independent telecommunications research and consultancy organization. You can follow Paul on Twitter @PaulBudde.

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