BPI shares tips on how to protect your personal data from online fraudsters

Always keep the data you share online in check
Always keep the data you share online in check

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) warned the public of increasing financial cybercrimes and urged them to protect their personal information when doing online transactions.

In his presentation on the second day of the 5th National Data Privacy Conference held May 25 to 26, 2022, with the theme “Ang PAWer ng Data Privacy Mo: Pratiktal, Angkop, at Wastong Paggamit ng Datos ni Juan at Juana,” BPI Senior Vice-President and Chief Digital Officer Noel Santiago focused on “Digital Banking: How to keep your online banking accounts safe and protected”.

Santiago explained that fraudsters use various tactics to obtain personal information and commit crimes, such as phishing, vhishing, smishing, and identity theft.

He said some fraudsters seek to obtain personal information by using available data about a person online and gaining more access to other details and information directly through a phone call with the person.

The BPI Chief Digital Officer added that the use of social media platforms has made the sharing of personal data easy and ordinary—from names and birthdays, schools, pictures, and friends, to professional information, among others. Blogging sites also show details of personal experiences.

Due to the widespread use of these websites, people may unknowingly share sensitive information about themselves, which can be obtained by fraudsters to commit various crimes, including identity theft, he said.

Santiago revealed that even as a person’s social media account is set in private, his or her friends might not have been placed in the same setting.

Maraming nagsasabi na safe at naka-private naman ang setting nila. Ang hindi natin alam ay ’yung ating mga kaibigan, ’yung mga account nila ay di naman private. Nagpo-post sila ng pictures natin ng naka-tag tayo. Ingatan din po natin ’yan. Dahil protektado man tayo sa ating settings, ’yung ating mga kaibigan, baka naman ay hindi protektado,” Santiago said.

(“A lot of people say that their settings are safe and private. Although, what we don’t know is if our friends’ accounts are in private settings as well. They post pictures that you may be tagged in, and you should be cautious of that too, because while your account may be protected, your friend’s accounts may have a different setting,” Santiago said.)

Secure data

Santiago shared two #BPIcybersecuriTips to help Filipinos ensure their data remain secured and protected from fraudsters.

First, one should have a separate email address for online banking accounts. Santiago encouraged users to have a different email address for social media websites and other online subscriptions. This way, he said, users can secure their private messages and other financial information.

Second, one should dispose of online delivery packages properly. According to Santiago, users need to be careful when disposing of packages received from various online stores. They contain personal information that can trigger identity theft as a package contains a user’s name, address, and contact number. One should make sure to remove or shred personal information found on packaging labels to protect one’s data so cybercriminals will not be able to use the information, he added.

Dapat tayo ang nag po-protekta sa ating mga personal na impormasyon. (We should be the ones protecting our personal information). This is a shared responsibility. The banks guarantee that they protect the information that you give them. Let us do our part,” Santiago said.

Carl Lamiel
Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].