Press Release
August 25, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged Filipino Internet users to exercise caution while conducting online transactions to avoid falling victim to cybercrimes.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, made the statement in light of a public advisory on Internet crimes issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

"We applaud that the DOJ has been taking significant steps in boosting our own capacity to deal with cybercrimes. But our security forces can't possibly cover every single Internet mishap. Web users themselves need to be more careful about what they do online," said Angara.

Around 30 percent of the population has access to the World Wide Web. A recent study conducted by Yahoo! Philippines and Nielsen Media shows that Filipinos now spend an average of 10 hours a week on the Internet. This is double the time they spent on the web in 2009.

Angara noted that an estimated 20 million new strains of malware were identified in 2010, according to a report from PandaLabs--the antimalware unit of IT firm Panda Security. At present, the company maintains a database of around 60 million different strains of online threats.

The report shows that attacks are now being launched through social media applications like Facebook and Twitter. The report predicted that in 2011 hackers will continue to use such social media to widen the scope of their attacks.

Earlier this year, US-based research firm comScore dubbed the country as the top social networking nation, with around 93 percent of web users accessing Facebook.

"We, Filipinos are now one of the most wired people in the world. This increases our chances of getting hit by online attacks. Information campaigns and skills-sharing are therefore needed for us to capitalize on the immense potential of the Internet while protecting ourselves against its many hazards," said Angara.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Oversight Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), authored and sponsored the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Once passed, the bill will protect Filipino Internet users from fraud, theft, hacking, child pornography and child prostitution.

"Cyberspace should now be considered a global common space alongside air, land, sea and even outer space. There ought to be rules on how this shared resource can be used by the people of the world," said Angara.

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