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Pinoys' awareness of data privacy sorely lacking –NPC

The Philippine public is still not aware of the potential dangers of lax data privacy, which paves the way for hackers to steal not just peoples' identities but also their hard-earned money.

This is even in spite of the notorious "Comeleak" cybersecurity breach of 2016—one of the biggest data heists in history that saw the theft of as many as 55 million personal records from the Comelec website, according to early estimates.

In an interview on GMA News TV's Balitanghali on Monday, March 20, National Privacy Commission (NPC) deputy commissioner Ivy Patdu warned that Filipinos should be careful about the personal information they share online, because these could be stolen and used against them.

Patdu said that people should treat personal data with the same care that they treat money and personal finances.

"Kahit hindi nangyari ang Comeleak, dapat mag-ingat tayong lahat. Kailangan isipin mong mahalaga ang data mo (parang) pera," she warned.

Just like money, personal data has value to thieves who can sell the information or use it to hack into victims' personal accounts.

"Wag masyado mag-post ng mga pribadong bagay (sa social media). I-value natin ang personal information natin," she warned.

"Oo gumagamit tayo ng social media dahil masaya, pero kumukuha ang mga ito ng mga personal information natin. Ito ang mga bagay na ipinagpapalit natin para sa mga benepisyo," she added.

"Hindi lahat safe, so wag basta-basta magki-click, wag basta-basta magtitiwala," Patdu underscored. — TJ Dimacali, GMA News