Starting the year with a clean slate also applies to one’s online habits. This is the reason the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is encouraging Filipinos to be vigilant online by adopting a security-centric mindset in 2024.
“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility between banks and clients. To keep your personal information—especially credit cards and deposit accounts—safe, it is crucial to commit to the practice of cyber hygiene, as this will ensure online security to keep your files and data safe from cyber criminals,” said Jonathan John Paz, BPI Enterprise Information Security Officer and Data Protection Officer.
Last year, the police Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) revealed that more than half of cybercrimes documented were online scams. Based on their data, 19,884 cybercrimes were recorded from January 1 to December 7, 2023, of which 11,071 cases or 55.67 percent represented online scams.
To help Filipinos avoid falling victim to scams and other cybercrimes, BPI urges the public to follow these practices to keep themselves cyber safe:
- Clean up your file folders and email inbox. Delete all documents, media files, and messages which you no longer need. Keep them organized.
- Check the web browser extensions that you may have unintentionally enabled. Assess if they are important and best to uninstall if not.
- Delete all applications that you don’t need anymore. Even if unused, these apps still consume energy and can also extract information.
- Clear your cache regularly to delete the personal information stored in the websites you’ve visited (e.g., when answering forms).
- Deactivate user accounts which you no longer use. This minimizes your digital footprint and lessens the likelihood of data leakage.
“No matter what day or month, always remember that cybersecurity is a practice that shouldn’t be “seasonal” or when we just “remember” to be vigilant. It should always be practiced, a shared responsibility, a given,” Paz said.
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