MANILA - The incoming head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Ivan John Uy on Tuesday said he would focus on promoting cyber hygiene and on intensifying efforts to prevent cybercrime.
Uy was chosen by President-elect Bongbong Marcos as the next DICT Secretary to replace officer-in-charge Manny Caintic.
Cyber hygiene includes checking computers regularly, installing anti-virus software, using firewalls, changing passwords regularly and other practices that could prevent cyberattacks.
It also involves better cybersecurity practices in homes and businesses and government.
"That's one of my advocacies - cybercrime prevention. Ang importante diyan is really education. Teaching our users how to avoid them. Ang ineexploit kasi ng mga hackers is the cyber illiteracy," Uy said.
(What's important is education. Those who are being exploited are those who are cyber illiterate)
"Etong mga hackers niloloko ang mga users na medyo hindi nakakaintindi at nakakadownload ng backdoor or viruses. That's the tool they use in order to hack into the system...They need to learn what we call cyber hygiene. Dapat ituro ito sa elementary school pa mga bata."
(Hackers fool users who aren't cyber literate... these should be taught starting in elementary school)
Adoption of digital services have been accelerated in the recent years during the COVID-19 pandemic but it has also been a window for fraudsters to commit crime.
In recent months, telcos, banks, the central bank and the police have been working together to curb the spread of smishing meant to trick unwilling victims to give out personal information through job offers sent via text.
Aside from cyber hygiene, Uy also vowed to focus on improving internet connection and in making it more accessible, especially in remote areas.
Elon Musk's Starlink, which was recently approved by the National Telecommunications Commission and DICT to setup shop in the Philippines could help solve the connectivity challenges in the country, Uy said.
Uy said investments in the telco industry are welcome, especially since the amendments to the Public Service Act have been approved, allowing full foreign ownership in the telco sector.
Starlink aims to operated before the end of June, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said.