Filipinos urged to protect data, be safe online during Holy Week

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The National Privacy Commission (NPC) reminded government agencies, businesses, and individuals to protect personal data during the Holy Week.

In a statement on Wednesday, April 17, the NPC recommended the following actions:

The privacy body issues these reminders every year. This is to prevent incidents like the Commission on Elections' leak of voters' data, which took place during the Holy Week break in 2016. (READ: What have we learned a year since 'Comeleak'?)

In 2017, NPC Commissioner Raymund Liboro likened these measures to what people do when going on vacation or leaving home for a long period of time.

"You make sure that security precautions are in place to ensure that break-ins do not happen. The same way our DPOs should safeguard their IT systems, as well as ensure that adequate physical security are in place during times of minimal staffing," said Liboro.

He also pointed out that the banking sector is vulnerable to data breaches. "The Bangladesh bank heist of 2016 also happened on a long weekend (Chinese New Year)," he said.

The agency's website contains information and tools for DPOs and citizens. (READ: NPC outlines 90-day plan for data protection officers)

Tips for individuals

Liboro then issued reminders to individuals for the protection of personal data on their devices during the holidays:

Michael Bueza

Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.