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DICT, socmed giants eye cybersecurity boost

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has teamed up with Google, YouTube, TikTok, and Meta to intensify cybersecurity efforts as online scams and other cybercrimes tripled from January to June 2023.

“Cybersecurity has become a deep concern for everyone, and the reason for this is the rapid move from brick-and-mortar to digital landscapes. The scale, speed, and level of penetration of digitalization in our everyday lives is unprecedented,” DICT Secretary Ivan John E. Uy said.

He added that the economic presence of ASEAN through e-commerce presents a very attractive pie for cybercriminals and cyber threat actors.

As reported by the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) under the Office of the President, the total number of online scams – such as those that happen across social media – went up to nearly triple what it was in the same period of 2022, in the first half of 2023, reaching 4,446 reported cases.

Social media comprises one of the key pillars of digital transformation, especially as more than 70 percent of Filipinos are active on various socmed platforms, directly contributing to the potential pool of victims of online scams, DICT noted.

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Gonz Gonzales, president of Cloud Security Alliance, said social media provides this platform for engagement, especially with the younger generation, and it reaches a wide audience.

“So with that, it’s a very good channel or medium to reach out to more people and then engage with them and then teach them how to do better. Cyber security and data privacy practices,” he said.

Patrick Signo, country manager at Materia Logic, also believes in the vital role that social media can play.

“Social media is a great way to educate people about cybersecurity. It’s a hot topic with a lot of available information, but many people forget that cybersecurity plays an important role in both personal and professional life,” he said.

“On any social media platform, it’s important to educate users about the implications of cybersecurity, even the negative ones. Overall, social media is poised to be the next big thing for people to learn about technology,” Signo added.

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