DAGUPAN CITY – The Pangasinan Provincial Cyber Response Team reminded the public anew to be careful of using free Wi-Fi services to avoid becoming a victim of cyber-attacks.
Archimedes Fernandez, police chief master sergeant, said that public Wi-Fi such as in airports, coffee shops, and malls may seem convenient but can be an open gate to hackers.
“Kapag ikaw ay gumagamit ng public Wi-Fi ay mas prone ka sa cyber-attacks kasi nga open ang mga ports doon, so may chances ang mga online hackers na mangalap ng iyong information,” he said.
Fernandez emphasized that individuals connecting to public Wi-Fi are exposed to identity theft and cyber fraud as hackers can easily intercept sensitive data such as passwords on social media and financial information.
“Halimbawa ay nag-sign in ka sa iyong Facebook account gamit ang public Wi-Fi, mai-intercept nila iyon. So, may chances na makukompromiso ang iyong Facebook account. Same thing sa iyong online banking account,” he said.
He added, “Iyon ang disadvantage ng public Wi-Fi kasi walang security. Kumbaga sa isang bahay ay madaling makapasok ang magnanakaw kung hindi naka-lock ang door.”
In line with the observance of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Fernandez also shared tips to keep personal information secure and safe:
• Become familiar with cyber-attacks and scams such as email phishing, malware, and ransomware.
A strong password consisting of letters, numbers, and symbols is highly recommended.
Enable two-factor authentication on your accounts for an extra layer of security. Keep your operating system or software including antivirus up to date.
Clear the unsolicited emails and links you receive so you will not be tempted to open them and become a victim of phishing. Use trusted antivirus and anti-malware software.
Fernandez urged the public to report any suspicious activities or transactions to the Pangasinan Provincial Cyber Response Team located at the People’s Astrodome in Tapuac, Dagupan City or they may call their hotline number +63 949 881 9643. By JCR/AMB/JCDR/PIA Pangasinan