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Manila, Philippines

What is the best defense against online scams?

Mr. Angel Redoble, Group CISO for PLDT and SMART

Cybersecurity threats have been prevalent in our society as far back as the beginning of the 20th century, and since then, there has been an explosive rise in various types of cybercrime attacks. The massive shift of our workforce environment towards a remote-work model exacerbated cybercrime attacks not only on business sites but also on user sites.

The New Hue launched a Cybersecurity Awareness Podcast last June 14th, hosted by Mix Fenix; entitled Hue Should Know IT — a conversation pod discussing matters concerning the digital space.

In the pilot episode, H, Mix, and Mr. Angel Redoble — one of the country’s most credible and reliable sources of Information and Communication Technologies, talked about identifying and protecting ourselves from online scams.

How are online scams being executed today?

The “bad guys” of online fraud took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic situation to target as many users as possible. Mr. Redoble shared a significant increase in cybercrimes as attackers become even more innovative in executing online scams that vary from phishing, vishing or voice phishing, smishing or phishing via text messages, and more since the pandemic struck our nation.

Mr. Redoble stated that for the longest time, scammers focus on attacking businesses that represent only a small percentage of the online community, provoking them to target and draw focus on system users to reach a broader range of victims.

H added that digital skimmers are outstanding in processing user behavior analytics as they detect ways to manipulate targets to comply with needed information in enforcing fraudulent acts.

How do we identify and protect ourselves from these online scams?

Commonly, spam links pop up as we browse through social networking websites, and in that case, the number one rule is to disregard the link. If you find yourself curious to see the content of a link, do not directly click on it. Instead, visit a top-level domain like Google to search for the specific website as most of the time, Google can detect phishing websites embedded with malware.

In other instances wherein one receives unsolicited calls, emails, and text messages that contain questions on personal information, especially one-time password (OTP), it is important first to verify the sender of such messages, and when it appears suspicious, report the act immediately.

H also explained that there are cases of personal loan scams wherein loans are applied simply by creating a fake ID.

We have to be extremely vigilant with how we share personal information online as it can amplify the risk of identity theft. Mr. Redoble added that a more extensive issue could occur when personal data is being traded on the dark web for fraudulent transactions involving terrorism and drugs.

“One scam can lead to another,” H stated.

What is the best approach for early detection and prevent being a victim of online scams?

Mr. Redoble advised predicting the threats that are coming.

“with that predictive capability, you can improve prevention and detection long before the threat arrives,” Mr. Redoble added.

It is vital to perform critical thinking capabilities at any moment an individual, groups of people or even social networking sites ask you to disclose personal information as any information you share can be used against you.

“being paranoid is something we have to practice being in that online space,” H explains that though social media platforms can provide you with the standard privacy and security features, the bad guys of cybercrime have the ability to outsmart any platform.

“Paranoia is the best defense,” Mr. Redoble stated.

Hue Should Know IT: Cybersecurity Awareness Podcast is live every Monday, at 630PM, on The New Hue’s Facebook page. You can also download and listen to the podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Be part of the conversation. No IT background is required. Be a HUE in society.


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