The recent COMELEC information leak has finally gotten the attention it deserves after weeks of having sensitive data floating unprotected on the internet. According to PhilStar, a total of 55 million people have their information on display for anyone and everyone to access—news which the government has tried to downplay by saying that none of what was leaked can cause irreversible harm.
However, netizens have rallied against the apparent white wash, noting that information which includes home addresses and middle and maiden names can actually be used to hack social media accounts, and worse, bank accounts.
This shows the seemingly questionable amount of importance the government puts on information security, and as the COMELEC continues to investigate the issue, you’ll be needing to put up your own walls of protection online.
Change your passwords.
The COMELEC has warned against people visiting the data dump site, saying that it may compromise your privacy even more. But whether or not you’ve visited it, it may be best to change all your current passwords on all your accounts just to be on the safe side.
Keep sensitive data to yourself.
Do not give out any personal information to any individual or organization claiming to be legit, whether it be over the phone or via email. Only give out information if you yourself have made the call, or better yet, physically visit the institution you have an issue with.
Take advantage of two-step verification options.
A lot of apps and platforms now give you the option to activate a two-step security verification process, which alerts you via phone when your account has been accessed in a different device or area. Use it – not only will it help you feel safer, but it will also help you monitor your accounts in real time.
Watch out for any questionable movements in any of your accounts.
Should you have a hard time accessing your email or if you think your bank account is being tampered with, contact the proper authorities immediately.