Online safety can be achieved by staying alert and critical of what we see and read on the internet, not clicking on links indiscriminately, and not following the orders or offers of unfamiliar individuals.

In addition, Mervin Wenke, Communications Head of Google Philippines, said in a press conference at their Bonifacio Global City office in Taguig City that they have launched tools to enhance internet browsing safety.

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Google launched Bard on March 21, 2023, and by February 8, 2024, it became stable and was renamed Gemini, an artificial intelligence chatbot which is free for Google users.

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Users can ask questions by typing or speaking their inquiry, including queries about online scams.

There's also the Google Password Manager, a free, built-in tool that helps users create, store, and manage secure passwords for all their online accounts.

Furthermore, Passkeys, similar to fingerprint or face ID, provide a safer alternative or additional protection to passwords. Accounts can be protected from phishing as they are stored in the phone of the account owner.

Wenke also advised installing the latest operating software and updates for safer internet use and protection from new threats. Google Play Protect should be automatically turned on to protect Android phones and their data from malicious apps or reckless link clicking.

Wenke mentioned the Google Security Checkup, a simple, step-by-step tool located in a user's Google Account that can help review and improve online security.

Before problems arise, potential security weaknesses in digital accounts connected to all devices can be spotted and fixed.

Users also need to review data settings to check the proper functioning of apps and accounts.

Users should avoid sharing data online indiscriminately and study apps and websites by reading their terms and conditions and settings.

Wenke also reminded users to avoid clicking on links at random, to check the background of a website or online entity, and to verify the reliability of an online source using Google Search.

Users should also not easily agree or be pressured, especially by those who offer and rush a person to make decisions or overly flatter them.

(Photo by Vera Victoria)