With the increasing popularity of internet and the increasing number of options available to surf the internet in Latin America, are Latin websites prepared enough to deal with this issue?
Latin websites are growing in number really fast; a few years ago you could barely found websites with local content, but now there is a explosion of websites with different purposes, from online shopping to online banking services. It is precisely this event the one that has triggered an increased number of cyber attacks threats to security in internet transactions.
Security issues on these websites occurs mainly because many Latin companies or institutions are more concerned on deliver online content faster with little or no security guarantees at all.
Security issues also apply to private users of the websites; most of actual users are novel users with no or little preparation on how to use a computer, thus you can find people doing online bank transactions in cybercafés, and this is just one example. Of course this type of situations make it easier for criminals to steal passwords, bank account numbers, and so on with obvious consequences for the user.
Inside private and public companies security issues are directly related to the absence of adequate policies on the use of the technological resources of their institutions, the absence of a good budget to invest in firewalls, antivirus software, Trojan horse detectors and so on.
There are security issues at home too; for example, many users with the possibility to have an internet connection are purchasing wireless routers but they leave them with no password at all, giving the pirate an open door to spy and steal your documents and in this way blackmail you. There are also users who use their computers with no software protection at all.
How is our region facing these issues on security? Well, several countries created specialized agencies to pursue and capture hackers and cybercriminals. Also many security companies established local offices in our countries in order to provide their services to the broad range of institutions.
Educational plans are on the way thru schools and media coverage of recommendations given by governmental agencies on how to properly use the internet. There is also a growing number of websites dedicated to teach fathers (both created by public and private institutions) on the dangers of the internet for children, and how to keep them away from threats and secure.
Good efforts are in place, however all users of the internet must be aware of the risks involved in the use of online services. For institutions, strict policies must be set up and a constant surveillance of the internet activity of their employees must be active at all times in order to detect possible security holes on the technological infrastructure.
Government agencies must be active and watchful at all times to detect new threats to citizens and public institutions.
Check out for this website: www.internetsano.gov.co. It's a public website ofthe Colombian government dedicated to promote the safe and secure use of the internet for children, their rights, and what to do in case of being victim of an abuse.