Raising cybersecurity awareness in the Philippines

Done through DICT and the Zamboanga Sibugay ICT Council’s recent Cybersecurity Awareness Forum.

By Adrian M. Reodique
Sept. 16, 2016

Participants of the Cybersecurity Awareness Forum in Zamboanga Sibugay. (Photo from the facebook page of PIA Western Mindanao). 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Zamboanga Sibugay Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council have jointly conducted a Cybersecurity Awareness Forum on 5 September 2016.

The forum shed light on the state of cybersecurity in the Philippines, with focused on cybercrime, cyber harassment, cyber bullying, cyber trafficking, and cyber libel.

"Warfare has evolved into the cyberspace. Cybersecurity is not yet that organised. Through internet, cybercrime can cripple a country. Cyberterrorism can cripple a country's economy. We need to be aware of these things," said Roderick Cruz, Cybersecurity focal person of DICT Cluster I, in a press release by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Meanwhile, Eufemio Javier Jr., Board Member of the Zamboanga Sibugay ICT Council, expressed his concerns on the growing web activity of Filipino youth and the increasing cyberthreats. "Based on a recent survey, an individual spends 18.6 to 28 hours per week, 2.6 to 4 hours a day on the internet. Nowadays, there are many existing online scam, online libel, identity theft and other cybercrimes."

 As such, Javier advised youth to: "Pause before you post, think before you click."

Cealita Evans, a cybersecurity consultant in Washington, resonated the idea and said people must be vigilant and withheld important information.  "The role of government in cybersecurity is to help combat cybercrimes. Let us be aware of our rights against cybercrimes. Be vigilant all the time and do not depend everything on the police. We must also know how to police ourselves."