May 25, 2024

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‘Digital hygiene’ cuts probability of being scammed

2 min read

Create a separate email address solely for your bank transactions that you will never use for social media accounts. Turn on the one-time pin (OTP) feature on your accounts and never share these OTPs.

Such forms of “digital hygiene” can easily reduce one’s probability of getting scammed by “budol-budol,” or swindlers, who are now exploiting digital channels, a cybersecurity expert from Union Bank of the Philippines said in a webinar on Wednesday.

Joey Rufo, Union Bank vice president and chief information security officer, said that just like in the physical world, there was no silver bullet against swindling.

By simply separating banking email from social media, business/profession and other emails, Rufo said this would go a long way in warding off online fraudsters who were always lurking to steal people’s credentials to gain access to their bank accounts.

“Emails are for free, you can create many of them, each one for dedicated purpose,” he said.

Another effective deterrent to scams would be to employ different passwords and make sure to switch on the OTP, also known as two-factor authentication.

“Even in the remote event that someone gets your password, you will still have the OTP that is generated when you need it. Never share that OTP. That already solves the 90-percent chance rate of you being scammed,” he said.

Rufo likewise warned against oversharing in social media.

“It’s common for fraudsters to look into your profile: what are your likes, interests, hobbies. Sometimes, we unconsciously use the names or birthdays of our family members—the wife, the kids—as the password, so when they know this kind of information when they profiled you, they can somehow guess your information,” he said.


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