Indonesia has yet to pass a specific law on data privacy, but there are several laws that deal with data protection. (Antara Photo/Basri Marzuki)

What to Do to Stay Safe Online


MAY 16, 2019

Jakarta. Keeping your data private in this age of technology might be complicated, especially when security threats are getting ever more advanced. But it is often up to the individual users to protect themselves.

Indonesia has yet to pass a specific law on data privacy, but there are several laws that deal with data protection. Article 26 of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law (better known as the ITE Law), states that "unless otherwise determined by statutory rules, the use of any information through electronic media relating to a person's personal data must be carried out with the consent of the person concerned."

According to a publication by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology titled "Privacy and Personal Data Protection," personal data includes among others, full name, email address, identity number, localization data, IP address (or network identification number), health record and income.

Here is what you must do to ensure your safety online and stay on the right side of the law:

  • What do you allow? Before installing new applications, check the permissions and authorization needed. Some apps need permission that is not necessary. These third parties could take advantage of the access they get to retrieve a user's profile information and even that of their friends.
  • Be cautious with your privacy settings. On social media platforms, manage who can see your posts and activity status through the privacy settings.
  • Diversify your password. Social-media accounts are often hacked, usually to steal users' data and use it to commit fraud. To prevent this, change your password occasionally and do not use the same one for each of your accounts. Also avoid using a generic and predictable password, like your date or place of birth, school, mother or partner's name, etc.
  • Do not share too much information. Irresponsible people can use personal data, especially on social media.
  • Watch what you click on. Pay attention to the URL address of the website you visit. Do not get lured to fake sites that intend to steal your data. If you get a website link via email, short message, etc., first make sure the link will lead to the site you are looking for, and not to a fake site, as this generally involves phishing.
  • Is your connection safe? Be careful when using Wi-Fi in public places and never share important data, let alone perform financial transactions, when your cellphone or computer is connected to public Wi-Fi.
  • Respect others' privacy. Make sure to ask permission before posting data belonging to your friends or family.
  • Ask permission. Sometimes in social media groups, for example in a WhatsApp group, someone invites another person into the group without first asking others' permission. This results in the phone numbers of group members being circulated without their permission and this violates their privacy.