Monday , June 25, 2018

OFWs urged to be aware of threats

WITH the consistent growth of money remittances and the rising use of digital payment systems in the Philippines, Kaspersky Lab urged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to be more aware about cyber security.

While still lagging behind Singapore and India, the Philippines, according to Kaspersky, is on track toward broader consumer adoption of digital payments and mobile wallets.

Money sent to the Philippines reached $28.1 billion in 2017, with a projected growth of five percent year-on-year. There are about 2.2 million Filipinos working abroad.

“The Philippines is just starting on its journey toward a cashless society, and from a cyber security standpoint, I’d say it is the best time for the Philippines to evaluate both opportunities and threats down the road to achieve eventual benefits for the people and the economy,” said Stephan Neumeier, managing director for Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific, in a statement.

He emphasized that it is high time cyber security awareness was promoted among Filipinos working abroad, as well as their families, especially that remittances play a crucial role for them and the economy.

Compared to its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, the Philippines has the lowest online money transactions in the region.

Currently, 99 percent of financial processes are still done using cash, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

“While digital payment is still in its infancy stage in the Philippines, now is the perfect time to educate OFWs and their families here in the country that they are lucrative targets for cybercriminals,” said Neumeier.

“On top of that, OFWs are probably working in countries where digital payments platforms are already mature. OFWs have what these hackers are running after, which is money, so they have to be aware of the threats and they have to understand how they can protect themselves,” he warned. (KOC)