FOLLOWING the cyber theft of voters’ records from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) database, PLDT and Smart Communications encouraged their subscribers to take precautionary measures to protect their online privacy and security.
According to published reports, the data breach disclosed voters’ personal information, such as their names, birthdates, home and email addresses, the full names of their parents and in some cases passport details. These information can be used for identity theft and other fraudulent activities.
Here are some simple, practical tips to properly manage online passwords:
l Update your passwords. Make it a habit to change passwords regularly for all your online accounts – email, social (like Facebook and Twitter), online banking accounts among others;
l Make your passwords strong. This means creating passwords with a mix of letters and numbers, with a mix of capital and lowercase letters, and with symbols like “&” or “@”. Best to use passwords with at least six letters, numbers and symbols;
l Avoid predictable passwords. Like birthdays (yours, your spouses or children, etc.), common number or alphabet patterns like “123456” or “abcdef” or predictable words like “password.”
PLDT and Smart are stepping up measures to strengthen its subscribers’ online security and will periodically share information that can help subscribers protect themselves.
When managing information regarding PLDT and Smart accounts, subscribers are advised to use only the firms’ official channels.
For PLDT, the official websites are pldt.com, and pldthome.com, and its official social media accounts on Facebook are facebook.com/PLDTpublicaffairs, facebook.com/PLDTHome, and facebook.com/SMENation, and on Twitter, @PLDTHome, @PLDT_Cares, and @PLDTMedia
For Smart, the Smart hotline *888, the official Smart website smart.com.ph, and the official social media accounts facebook.com/smartcommunications, twitter.com/LiveSmart and twitter.com/smartcares.