This is an edited press release
Following the cyber theft of voters’ records from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) database, PLDT and Smart Communications are encouraging their subscribers to take precautions to protect their online privacy and security.
According to published reports, the data breach disclosed voters’ personal information such as their names; birthdates; home and email addresses; the full names of their parents; and in some cases, passport details. These information can be used for identity theft and other fraudulent activities.
Related: COMELEC says sorry over leaked data
To help prevent such breach, PLDT and Smart Communications share the following tips to help manage your online passwords.
1. Update your passwords.
Make it a habit to change passwords regularly for all your online accounts—email, social (like Facebook and Twitter), online banking accounts among others.
2. Make your passwords strong.
This means creating passwords with a mix of letters and numbers; with a mix of capital and lowercase letters; and with symbols like “&” or “@.” Best to use passwords with at least six letters, numbers, and symbols.
3. Avoid predictable passwords.
Like birthdays (yours, your spouses or children, etc.) Avoid also common number or alphabet patterns like “123456” or “abcdef.” Or as predictable as “password” for password.
“PLDT and Smart are stepping up measures to strengthen your online security and will periodically share information that can help subscribers protect themselves,” the telco company and digital services provider said in a statement on April 25.
It also encouraged subscribers to use only the company’s official channels when managing their accounts.
For PLDT, the official websites are pldt.com and pldthome.com. Its official social media accounts on Facebook are facebook.com/PLDTpublicaffairs; facebook.com/PLDTHome; and facebook.com/SMENation; On Twitter, @PLDTHome; @PLDT_Cares; and @PLDTMedia.
For Smart, these are: the Smart hotline *888; the official Smart website smart.com.ph; and the official social media accounts facebook.com/smartcommunications; twitter.com/LiveSmart; and twitter.com/smartcares.