Trade department joins World Consumer Rights Day celebration

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office joined the other member organizations of the Consumers International from different countries in the celebration of the World Consumer Rights Day on Wednesday, March 15.

DTI Provincial Director Ceferino Rubio said the World Consumer Rights Day is an annual occasion which marks the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s address to the United States congress on March 15, 1962, where he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights.

Rubio said the occasion provides an opportunity to raise global awareness about consumer rights which must be protected and respected at all times.

He said they reiterate “our reminder to consumers to be always vigilant when transacting online” with the popularity of online transaction and e-commerce activities as well as the fast-changing trends in digital technology.

“In 2015 alone, 429 million identities were left exposed online. Thus, there is a need to always check and update our privacy settings on social media and avoid sharing personal information online,” Rubio reminded.

He noted over half a billion digital personal records were lost or stolen in 2015.

The DTI provincial director said one way to avoid becoming victims in online transactions is to only use websites that start with “https” and have a green padlock sign.

Rubio said in the same year, spam email attempts to obtain sensitive information such as usernames and passwords to people's work emails increased by 55 percent.

He warned internet and social media users not trust email offers or rewards, which seem “too good to be true.”

Rubio also advised consumers to be aware and avoid opening unusual email attachments and links as the number of email viruses detected last year was four times higher than that in 2015.

For additional tips on digital security and access, Rubio said internet and social media users may refer to the “Top 10 Ways to Stay Safe Online” posters, which are posted in selected business establishments in the city or at DTI-Zamboanga City Office Facebook account: DTI Zamboanga City Office.

This year’s World Consumer Rights Day celebration is anchored on the theme: “Building a Digital World Consumers can Trust.” (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)
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