THE National Privacy Commission (NPC), the country’s privacy watchdog, urged Filipinos to heighten their data protection versus hackers during All Saints’ Day.
It advised Filipinos to have portable power banks and to avoid using public charging stations or free public Wi-Fi, where their data may be compromised.
“When connecting to free public Wi-Fi, make sure your VPN (virtual private network) is active. It would also be best to visit only encrypted websites or those with ‘HTTPS’ at the beginning of the URL,” it said in a statement.
“Practice informed discernment when deciding what to post online and what to keep safely private. For example, posting a photo of your boarding pass or passport can make you vulnerable to financial theft and identity fraud,” Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro also said.
Personal information controllers, personal information processors, and data protection officers were also warned about the possible spike in cyberattacks.
NPC said to enhance data security, organizations are advised to “place non-mission critical systems offline, ensure system activities are recorded and secured, back up files, log out all accounts in computers, make sure that operating systems are updated, and intrusion detection systems are in placed.
Aside from potential attacks from the cyberspace, organizations are also warned about physical security breaches.
NPC said office premises must be secured and all physical documents locked in cabinets.
The agency also stressed that organizations must have response plans or disaster recovery plans to mitigate the impact of the attack.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) did a final inspection of bus terminals and major cemeteries to ensure that traffic schemes and deployment of personnel were in place.
“This year, measures to regulate vendors inside and roads leading to cemeteries were implemented,” said MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim on Thursday.
Lim also personally supervised the random and on the spot breath test on bus drivers at the Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao, Quezon City; Jac Liner and Philtranco terminals along EDSA; and the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange “to ensure that bus drivers are not under the influence of alcohol while driving.”
Lim also inspected public assistance stations at entry points of major cemeteries and urged motorists to park their vehicles at designated areas so as not to disrupt the flow of traffic.
More than 2,300 MMDA personnel, including traffic enforcers, clearing group teams, rescue personnel have been deployed to “help carry baggage of passengers at bus terminals.”
The implementation of the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or number coding for provincial buses was lifted on October 31, Thursday, and on November 4, Monday, to accommodate more passengers going to provinces and back.
UVVRP for all types of vehicles was likewise suspended at 12 noon on Thursday.
On November 1, Friday, the number coding scheme for both private and public vehicles is automatically lifted.
Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso said policemen were tasked to “blend in” with the crowd to ensure the strict implementation of rules and regulations at the Manila North Cemetery.
“Wag kayo mabibigla, hindi po lahat ng pulis naka-uniporme, makikihalubilo kami sa inyo (Don’t be surprised, some of our policemen are posing as civilians),” Domagoso said during an ocular visit.
Domagoso warned against bringing sharp objects, even if it would be used to prepare food.
Domagoso also reminded the public on the implementation of City Ordinances 8547, 8243 and 5555, or the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew, and warned that guardians of rescued minors would be penalized.
Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba, Manila Police District director, said he mobilized about 500 police officers.
Domagoso said at least 100 electronic tricycles were tapped mainly for persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and the elderly.
Lawyer Ariel Inton, chief of the Quezon City Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management, warned that those who would violate and break our rules would be immediately apprehended.
Inton urged the public to ask enforcers on the ground for designated parking spaces that were “properly labeled with proper signages.”
Col. Ronnie Montejo, acting Quezon City Police District (QCPD) chief, said 2,444 uniformed and plain clothes policemen were in the “highest level of security” as they man at least six cemeteries, 20 columbariums, bus terminals, and other vital installations in the city.
“We will also put up Police Assistance Hubs near the cemeteries and columbarium for immediate police assistance to the public,” he added.
Aside from police, Montejo said 2,952 force multipliers composed of medical fire and rescue volunteers, personnel from the MMDA, Department of Public Order and Safety, and other members from non-government organizations have been deployed.
Montejo cautioned the public against bringing prohibited items like guns, explosives, bladed weapons, alcohol, illegal gambling cards, videoke machines and loud speakers.
He reminded those who would leave their homes to make sure that their houses were secured and locked, and suggested installing burglar alarms and closed circuit televisions.
Montejo encouraged the public to report to the police desk any suspicious or untoward incidents for appropriate action.
WITH REPORTS FROM JAN ARCILLA, FRANZ EMBUDO, JOSHUA VERA CRUZ