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Advocacy group: Filipinos must be responsible digital citizens to protect themselves from cybercrime 

March 18, 2022 7:51 p.m.

FILIPINO consumers must become responsible digital citizens to protect themselves from internet-based crimes, and while there are existing laws against cybercrimes, the government and the private sector must work together to educate and empower the people against falling prey to cybercriminals, an advocacy group said.

“The pandemic has pushed most of us to shift our activities online,” said lawyer Tim Abejo, co-convenor of CitizenWatch Philippines. “We now do our banking, shopping, schooling, over the internet. We order food online and do our work from home. These have their benefits, of course, but they also carry great risk.”

 Abejo said that while these internet transactions result in convenience and efficiency, they also bring the danger of abuse and exploitation in many forms. “There are many who are out to take advantage of unsuspecting internet users. We have to make sure that our people arm themselves against these online predators.”

 During the pandemic period, the number of cyber tips received by the Department of Justice – Office of Cybercrime tripled to 1.2 million in 2020 from just 400,000 the previous year. Most common among internet crimes are fraud, sexual abuse and exploitation, bullying, and identity theft.

 Targeting the vulnerable

 Abejo cited the UNICEF finding that prolonged lockdowns have made children and young people more vulnerable because these resulted in extended hours online.

 “For two years now, they cannot go out to play or go to school or to meet their friends,” said Abejo.

 “Instead, they are constantly online to study, play or socialize. This provides predators the opportunity to manipulate them for their own gains.”

 Meanwhile, the public has also seen a rise in incidents of hacking of online bank accounts.

“Sure, there have been arrests. But these people are always one step ahead and they are bound to come up with newer, more sophisticated ways to launch cyber-attacks,” Abejo said.

 The Bankers Association of the Philippines said more than P1 billion was lost last year due to cyber fraud.

 “These criminals are so ingenious,” Abejo said. “They dupe people into disclosing sensitive information through innocent- or legitimate-looking emails, text messages, or even social media posts.”

 He said that ransomware is becoming more prevalent in the Philippines, where malicious software – malware – gains access to a computer system, which would become inaccessible unless the user pays ransom.

 Laws and public private partnerships

 “To be sure, there is no dearth of laws protecting the public from cybercrimes,” Abejo said.

 “The laws range from the broader Cybercrime Prevention Act to data privacy, to preventing online sexual abuse and exploitation, to those protecting the integrity of electronic transactions or strengthening financial literacy for consumers in the digital economy,” he said, citing that the real challenge is making the people aware that these laws do exist and enforcing them in this context.

 Abejo proposed that, “Government should incentivize private initiatives to engage the education sector such as the Digital Thumbprint Program of digital solutions company Globe in partnership with the Department of Education that has integrated into the curriculum the training of young students to be knowledgeable in cybersecurity and responsible digital citizenship.”

 “More public private engagements in digitally powered interventions can give free online access to workshop modules to arm people with the knowledge and attitude to responsibly and safely navigate the internet,” Abejo added.

 A common concern

 According to Abejo, empowering Filipinos to be aware of and fight online risks is a collective effort that must be undertaken by the government, the private sector, civil society, and the education sector.

 “Specifically, telcos and ISPs should partner with the government to engage in an aggressive and sustained education program to raise awareness of online dangers,” Abejo said.

 “Technology is good because it allows societies to be productive and innovative, and reach their potential,” he said. “We must manage the inherent risks and learn how to protect ourselves against those who think they can use the internet to advance their criminal interests.”

 “As we are now in a highly digital world, we must choose leaders who can be digital transformation champions to address digital readiness gaps that can delay our recovery from the pandemic crisis,” Abejo said.

NEWS

NBA hosts 1st Iconic Shots Challenge in PH

July 4, 2022 1:41 p.m.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) hosted the first “NBA Iconic Shots Challenge” on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 at the Mega Fashion Hall activity center, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City, Philippines. 

The NBA Iconic Shots Challenge is an immersive basketball experience for fans to attempt select signature shots from the league’s landmark 75th Anniversary Season, which concluded with the Golden State Warriors winning their fourth NBA championship in eight years and seventh championship overall.  

Simulating an authentic NBA arena atmosphere, the challenge took place on a half-court in front of a virtual audience displayed on a curved LED panel. 

Each player had 60 seconds to score from five different spots on the court, ranging from four feet to 24 feet, and complete the shooting challenge in the following order: layup, floater, midrange jump shot and three-pointers from the wing and the top of the arc. 

Each made basket had a corresponding prize from a selection of premium partner items, NBA Store gift vouchers and official NBA merchandise. 

The on-ground activation will also feature a pop-up NBA Store and interactive booths from partners.

Mallgoers played through the NBA Iconic Shots Challenge, which allowed participants to test their shooting skills from five different locations on the court. 

The NBA Iconic Shots Challenge is supported by official partners AXA Philippines, Energen Champion and Gatorade and official media partners Cignal, Globe, Smart, and PLDT.  Official NBA merchandise are available through the NBA Store and NBAStore.com.ph, the official online NBA Store in the Philippines.

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MILO, DepEd celebrate kids’ success thru 1st-ever Palarong Pambahay virtual sports competition

Beloved nutritious beverage brand MILO® Philippines and the Department of Education (DepEd) celebrated the recent success of its inaugural MILO-DepEd Palarong Pambahay.

The joint effort was the first-of-its-kind inter-sport, inter-school virtual competition held on a nationwide scale.

The 2-day live broadcast saw more than 700 participating schools and featured over 2,000 aspiring student athletes who showcased their skills and competed with pride for themselves and their school in front of 1.5 million-plus online viewers.

“It is our great pleasure to partner with MILO® Philippines for the first-ever MILO-DepEd Palarong Pambahay competition.  Even though the pandemic has hindered most of our on-ground activities, our organization, as well as coaches, teachers, and parents, have worked tremendously hard to make this event a reality. This is quite a milestone and integral proof that nothing can stop the Filipino champion spirit and our winning culture of Bayanihan,” said DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq.

This groundbreaking online sports event opened doors for young athletes who showed their determination as they trained and competed from their homes, as well as their parent coaches who helped guide them along the way to overcome the many challenges of staying indoors.

“Nakita natin ang pagpupursige ng mga atleta at mga magulang na sumali sa Palarong Pambahay, dahil hindi nila hinayaang maging hadlang ang pandemya,” said Carlo Sampan, MILO® Sports Executive.

MILO-DepEd Palarong Pambahay is just the latest of many creative and innovative programs now available from MILO® Philippines designed to provide kids with an outlet to stay physically active and teach them the important values learned from sports such as discipline, respect, and determination.

“Taekwondo helps me build my self-confidence so that I can attain success through hard-work and determination,” said Justin Apura who hails from the University of San Agustin, Iloilo. Apura won gold in Taekwondo and has been competing in local and international competitions since he was 6 years old.

Jennie Villanueva, whose son Marvi Marcelo competed in Athletics, also shared: “Andun yung pag-strive niya na gawin niya yung best niya sa isang bagay para kahit hindi siya manalo, alam niyang nagawa niya yung best niya.”

Faced with a new reality and challenges, MILO® Philippines and DepEd has proven to parents across the country that there are opportunities to adapt and continue their child’s Champion journey at home.

As schools and sports venues start to open up again, MILO® Philippines is excited to welcome back kids to continue to their Champion journeys in the upcoming MILO® Summer Sports Clinics. For more details on how to join, please visit the official MILO® Philippines website.

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Niantic, NBA, NBPA team up for NBA All-World

June 29, 2022 7:31 p.m.

NEW YORK — Niantic announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association to create an original augmented reality mobile game: NBA All-World. 

NBA All-World is a first-of-its-kind game that will place NBA fans into the real-world metaverse.  

NBA All-World is a free-to-play officially licensed geolocation basketball game where players can find, challenge, and compete against today’s NBA ballers in their neighborhoods, then recruit them to their team before proving themselves on the court.  

“NBA All-World represents an industry first in sports games, as an original, real-world AR game that will appeal to casual and core NBA fans alike,” said Marcus Matthews, Senior Producer at Niantic. 

“We’re creating and designing a game that empowers players to represent where they’re from and showcase the culture of their neighborhood.” 

“Through our partnership with Niantic, NBA All-World will provide fans across the globe the opportunity to fully immerse themselves into the energy and excitement of the NBA,” said Matt Holt, Head of Consumer Products at the NBA. 

“Evident in the name of the game itself, we look forward to engaging with our fans around the world through this captivating experience.” 

“NBA-All World gives us the opportunity to bring NBA players into Niantic’s real-world metaverse, opening up paths for fans to interact with them in a new way,” said Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, the innovation engine of the NBPA.

“Niantic has proven experience building games that encourage engagement in local communities, and having our players integrated into NBA All-World adds to that immersion.” 

Additionally, NBA All-World will embrace the fashion of the NBA, with users having the ability to outfit players in the game with custom apparel.  

Players can sign-up to be notified when NBA All-World is available in their country by visiting NBAAll-World.com. 

Those who sign up will be able to experience an exclusive All-World AR web experience and be the first to be notified about securing their codename for global launch.

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