Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Smart gives Bicol subscribers 3 simple tips to protect passwords
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, April 25 (PNA) -- As a consequence of the cyber theft of the voters’ records from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) database, PLDT and Smart Communications are encouraging their subscribers in the Bicol Region and elsewhere to take precautions to protect their online privacy and security.

Based on published reports, the data breach disclosed voters’ personal information such as their names, birth dates, home and email addresses, the full names of their parents and in some cases passport details.

As result, authorities have expressed fear that these information can be used in identity theft and other fraudulent activities.

To give their subscribers peace of mind, PLDT and Smart issued some simple, practical tips for proper management of one's online password.

For one, the sister communications companies advised their subscribers to update their passwords and make it a habit to change passwords regularly for all their online accounts – email, social (like Facebook and Twitter), and online banking accounts, among others.

The two firms also suggested that their subscribers make their passwords strong through a mix of letters and numbers, of capital and lowercase letters, and with symbols like “&” or “@”.

Best to use passwords with at least six letters, numbers and symbols, the two firms added.

Lastly, PLDT and Smart cautioned on using predictable words like birthdays (yours, your spouses or children, etc.) or common number or alphabet patterns like “123456” or “abcdef”, or predictable words like “password”.

PLDT and Smart said they are stepping up measures to strengthen their subscribers online security and will periodically share information that can help subscribers protect themselves.

When managing information regarding PLDT and Smart accounts, the subscribers are advised to use only their official channels.

For PLDT, these are: the official websites 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. (PNA) LAP/FGS/CBD