Data breaches and online scams: there’s a price to pay for digital convenience

    PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 November, 2018, 2:00pm
    UPDATED : Sunday, 11 November, 2018, 2:00pm

    Big data and infotech are the buzzwords of this decade. We cannot deny the positive effects that digitisation brings to our lives. In mainland China, especially, we no longer bring along our wallet and keys as their functions have already been incorporated into our smartphones. Access to the internet means we can receive information instantly, no matter how geographically distant the source of it is.

    Yet, the latest hack attacks and data breaches show we should always stay vigilant about the new kinds of crimes that might emerge (“Email accounts hacked, Hong Kong’s biggest bank HSBC says”, November 9). The information leak involving our flag-carrier airline and our leading bank reminds us that, if these issues are not addressed properly, the consequences can be undesirable (“Law must be strengthened after Cathay Pacific data scandal”, November 8).

    It does not end there. Cyber bullying, which is so prevalent on popular social networking platforms, could pose a life-threatening risk for some victims. In addition, many women have already become victims of romance scams, where they thought they were dating their prince charming online. Addiction to digital gadgets among teens may even hamper the growth of their interpersonal skills. Eternal vigilance appears to be the price we must pay for digital convenience.

    John Yau, Kwun Tong