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TECHNOLOGY

Selling your verified digital wallet? Think again

May 19, 2023 9:29 p.m.

THE recent spate of selling and even rental of verified digital wallets in the country should not be taken lightly. It is, in fact, alarming because its owners or account holders risk losing their identities with far-reaching consequences, according to cybersecurity and digital privacy company Kaspersky. 

Since 2022, the local media have been reporting various apprehensions by police authorities of individuals allegedly involved in buying and selling of verified digital wallet accounts. Registered SIM accounts with verified digital wallet accounts are currently being bought for P350 each. On social media, the rates even go as low as P150 per account. These are then sold for an average of P600-P800 each. 

This kind of transaction is a cybercrime offense under Philippine laws. If proven guilty, both seller and buyer are up for some jail time and penalties from P100,000 to P500,000. 

But what’s stored in a digital wallet? 

A digital wallet is usually loaded with personal details of its owner such as full name, date of birth, nationality, phone number, email address, and mailing address. Once verified by the digital wallet company as a legitimate account, all financial transactions can be performed within the digital wallet app. 

The transaction limit varies but the maximum amount that can be received or sent per account is as high as P500,000, bypassing the use of credit and debit cards that are regulated and normally require security checks. 

Mobile digital wallets are a popular alternative financial service among Filipinos. Unfortunately, some digital wallet users think that selling their account isn’t really a big issue. They believe their accounts are not tied to any bank accounts with a lot of funds so there is nothing to extort from them. And getting a new SIM is cheap and easy and verifying their digital wallet accounts is hassle-free. 

“We’ve witnessed how the Filipinos embraced the cashless lifestyle during the pandemic, out of necessity. The ease of access and convenience of digital wallets made everyone quite comfortable, with some now selling, renting out or even loaning their verified accounts. By doing so, cybercriminals do not need to put much effort into phishing anymore as Filipinos are practically giving away their personal data for a song, which is really dangerous,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

“As sellers or lenders of their own digital wallet accounts, not only would they get into trouble with the law. Losing their identities is also very likely especially when their data gets into the hands of scammers. With enough information from you, scammers can already set up other financial accounts using your name and use your identity to benefit them. Possible scenarios would be getting harassed by a collection agent for a debt you’ve never owed. It could also mean losing out on job or education opportunities just because your name appeared with an unpleasant digital profile when searched,” adds Yeo. 

What other damage can data thieves do? 

By selling your verified digital wallet, you are essentially handing out your data to cybercriminals and helping them carry out their evil activities.

With your confidential information in their hands, data thieves can:

  1. Make purchases on your behalf
  2. Use your personal details in online gaming. Cybercriminals use stolen identities for doxing (publishing your home address and phone number online for profit, fun, or humiliation) and swatting (reporting a fake emergency to law enforcement agencies to come to your place to intimidate you) 
  3. Use your personal information in online gambling. Fraudsters create networks of thousands of synthetic accounts, normally using stolen personal data and credit card information to accumulate bonus points and redeem their “winnings”. This particular type of fraud is extremely common in online poker and blackjack, where the result can be manipulated through game strategy.  
  4. Add themselves or an alias they can control as an authorized user so it’s easier to use your credit. 
  5. Use and abuse your Social Security number. Scammers may be able to take out loans and claim benefits under your name. 
  6. You may be banned from using the services of your favorite digital wallet company if your name appears to have availed of its loan services and that you cannot pay. 
  7. Sell your information to others who will use it for malicious purposes. Buying and selling of stolen personal information is big business on the dark web, the non-visible Web that can be accessed only by a specialized browser where cybercriminals provide illegal services to one another. Back in 2018, data from Kaspersky showed that criminals can sell someone’s complete digital life in the dark web for less than $50 (or P2,761, today’s forex). In 2020, the cybersecurity company shared that personal identity details such as full name, date of birth, email and mobile can fetch from $0.5 to $10 each (or P27.62 to P552.33).

Is there still a way to save your stolen identity? 

Once you have handed over your SIM account with your personal data in it, it is not easy to undo it. Experts suggest replacing your email address and telephone address as well as changing all affected passwords in all of your social media and financial accounts. If you believe you have been victimized by identity fraud, you can lodge a complaint through the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) here. 

How else to protect yourself from identity theft?

  1. Keep data to a “need-to-know” basis. If someone is asking for your personal information, ask why they need it and how they will use it. 
  2. Bank safely. Make sure that you log into financial websites using a secure connection all the time.
  3. Know who you’re dealing with. If you are requested for your personal or financial information, find out who they are, what company they represent, and the reason for the request. Contact the company to confirm before disclosing any of your personal data. 
  4. Secure the data in your device. Use a security software to maximize your online safety, whether you transact using your personal details on your laptop, PC or mobile phone. 

TECHNOLOGY

Next-level mobile gaming: The power of the POCO F6

5:44 p.m. June 19, 2024

Hardcore mobile gamers know one thing: intense gaming sessions call for a phone that can always keep up.

As mobile games get more sophisticated while still delivering satisfying action, a phone like the POCO F6 is the kind of device that leaves no doubt about sheer gaming power. That’s because it’s packed with top-of-the-line features that ensure a next-level gaming experience.

  1. A processor that can handle anything

No matter your mobile game of choice, you can be assured that it will never slow down or crash thanks to the POCO F6’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor. This chip can reliably handle any new games and apps, regardless of their demand.

  1. A smooth high-refresh-rate display

The POCO F6’s 120Hz CrystalRes AMOLED display makes your whole gaming experience silky smooth and responsive. All the visuals pop out in full vivid and stunning color, making sure you never miss a single crucial detail.

  1. A phone that always stays cool

Gamers know that intense gaming means the phone can get as hot as the action. However, the POCO F6 stays cool, thanks to its LiquidCool Technology 4.0, which ventilates and regulates the device’s internal temperatures so that you can stay comfortable for as long as possible.

  1. A battery that lasts the whole day

The most important thing you need to think about when you’re gaming? It’s how long the phone is going to last. Other phones’ batteries might not be able to keep up during a marathon gaming session, but not the POCO F6—if the charge runs low, it can quickly get back up to 100% with the 90W turbo-charging tech.

So when you need a new phone that needs to catch up with you when you’re destroying the competition, look no further than the POCO F6. It may just be the winning edge that you need in your next game.

The POCO F6 is exclusively available on Shopee and Lazada in three striking colors: Black, Green, and Titanium. The 8GB + 256GB variant is available for P21,999 and the 12GB + 512GB variant retails for P24,999.

***

About POCO

POCO is a young independent brand born out of Xiaomi Corporation. As of now, POCO has entered 98 global markets. The POCO philosophy – “Everything You Need, Nothing You Don’t” – drives the brand to focus its research and development efforts entirely on POCO fans’ requirements and feedback. T

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TECHNOLOGY

Top AI camera phone HONOR Magic6 Pro now available nationwide with free HONOR Watch GS3! 

9:05 p.m. May 20, 2024

Leading smart devices provider in the Philippines, HONOR, continues to expand all over in the country as it opens its latest HONOR Experience Store in SM City San Lazaro. It marked also the First Day Sale of the impressive HONOR Magic6 Pro, dubbed as the Top AI Camera Phone available in the market, currently priced at P59,999. 

“This incredible Magic AI camera phone to date immensely made waves in the market and now that it’s officially available here in the Philippines, we’re also excited to have a double celebration as unveil our newest experience store in SM City San Lazaro,” said Stephen Cheng, HONOR Philippines Vice President. 

The HONOR Magic6 Pro is available with FREE HONOR Watch GS3 worth Php 11,999 when purchased in physical stores from May 18 to May 31.  

The store was officially opened through a ribbon-cutting ceremony executed by Bluelite Operations Manager Joseph Chua, Bluelite Purchasing Manager Hyacinth Simbulan, SM San Lazaro Asst. Mall Manager Darcy Royo, HONOR PH Brand Marketing Manager Joepy Libo-on, HONOR PH Retails Sales Director Tom Yuan, and HONOR PH PR Manager Pao Oga. 

To extend the fun and excitement, consumers participated during the Guess the Phone Challenge as they familiarize themselves with various HONOR smartphones and identify their lucky pick on the spot.  

HONOR Magic6 Pro’s Pro-Level Specs 

The HONOR Magic6 Pro is known for its impressive camera with 180MP resolution, Second-generation Silicon-carbon Battery with 5600mAh battery capacity, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, Magic Ring, Magic Portal, HONOR NanoCrystal Shield, and IP68 Dust and Water Resistance Certification.  

Available in Epi Green and Black, HONOR Magic6 Pro can be purchased through selected HONOR Experience Stores, and via Shopee (https://bit.ly/Shop_M6Pro_PR), Lazada (https://bit.ly/Laz_M6Pro_PR), and TikTok Shop (https://bit.ly/TikTok_M6Pro_PR)

For more affordable offers, the HONOR Magic6 Pro is also available at Home Credit for as low as P1,719/month with FREE Harman Kardon Luna and HONOR Earbuds X3 worth P11,699. Take advantage of the offer at https://bit.ly/HONORPH_HomeCredit. 

HONOR Lazada Flash Sale on May 19-21! 

Shop for your favorite HONOR devices and enjoy up to P5,000 off on top of Exclusive Vouchers and Freebies only from May 19 to May 21 via Lazada! Get the HONOR 90 Lite 5G for only P8,990 with FREE Band 6; HONOR X9a 5G for P11,990 from its original price of P16,990 with FREE Band 6, HONOR X8b for P11,400 with FREE X5 Earbuds; and HONOR X7b for only P7,600! Check out your orders now at Lazada https://www.lazada.com.ph/shop/honor.  

For more exciting announcements, head on to HONOR Philippines’ social media platforms: Facebook (Facebook.com/HonorPhilippines), Instagram (Instagram.com/honorph/) and TikTok Shop: (Tiktok.com/@honorphilippines). To check out HONOR’s complete list of retail stores, go to https://www.hihonor.com/ph/retailers/.

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TECHNOLOGY

PLDT Enterprise bags 3 Stevie Awards: Celebrating diverse innovations in Events and Digital Communication

12:34 p.m. May 6, 2024

PLDT Enterprise, the corporate business arm of the leading Philippine telecommunications and digital services provider PLDT, proudly announced its latest victories at the 2024 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards.

The Philippine Digital Convention (PH Digicon) 2023 VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise secured a Silver Stevie® under the category of Innovation in the Use of Events and a Bronze Stevie® for Innovation in Business-to-Business Events, while the “Visionaries” campaign received a Bronze Stevie® in the category of Innovation in the Use of Social Media. These accolades once again highlighted PLDT Enterprise’s relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation in the digital communication space.

“We are deeply honored by the recognition bestowed upon us at the Stevie Awards, which underscores our unwavering dedication to business excellence and innovation,” stated Mitch Locsin, First Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International Core Business at PLDT and Smart. “These awards are a testament to our expertise and steadfast commitment to propelling businesses towards success in the digital age. As we continue to garner accolades, they serve to reaffirm our role as a catalyst for transformative digital solutions within the B2B marketplace, and they celebrate our deep-rooted mission to empower enterprises across the spectrum with the tools and services necessary to thrive in an increasingly connected world.”

PH Digicon Uniting and Empowering Visionaries

PH Digicon 2023 VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise was the most recent leg of the pioneering annual digital conference that once again brought together industry leaders to discuss and explore the future of digital enterprise. The convention offered a platform for businesses to reimagine their operations in the emerging digital landscape.

As the 9th edition of the widely anticipated industry event, it drew a record-breaking number of participants eager to immerse themselves in the latest technologies, hear from digital thought leaders and trailblazers, network with business experts, and participate in on-ground activities such as Digi Grounds, Digi Hub, and SME Zone, to form a shared vision on how to foster the Philippines’ digital transformation.

The event also featured the Start-Up Innovation Challenge, the final pitching and demo day for start-ups to showcase their ideas to industry experts on how to solve everyday challenges using technologies involving Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, Smart Cities, Immersive Technologies, and Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG). 

The event stood as a hallmark in PLDT Enterprise’s event calendar, not just for its scale but for its role in shaping the dialogue around digital transformation in the region. This year’s theme, “Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise,” resonated deeply with attendees, as the event featured industry experts and thought leaders including prominent C-suite executives who shared their insights into the emerging trends and future of digital business. It served as an incubator for innovative ideas, fostering a space where technology and strategy converged to inspire businesses to embark on transformational journeys.

The success of PH Digicon 2023 VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise in elevating the conversation on digital innovation is further validated by its Silver Stevie® and Bronze Stevie® Awards, marking it as a pivotal event that not only forecasts the trajectory of digital enterprise but actively contributes to its evolution.

Leading the Industry by Example

The “Visionaries” campaign, on the other hand, was a transformative movement celebrating customer success stories across diverse personas and industries, from SME founders, large enterprise leaders, local government unit partners, to international carriers. It showcased the digital transformation journeys of PLDT Enterprise’s customers and reinforced the brand’s customer-centric approach.

The Bronze Stevie® Award for Innovation in the Use of Social Media through the “Visionaries” campaign is a compelling affirmation of PLDT Enterprise’s leadership by example in the realm of digital storytelling and innovation. This prestigious award is a testament to the company’s success as a digital transformation ally for businesses, showcasing their ability to not just follow but set trends in the dynamic narrative of enterprise technology.

The “Visionaries” campaign exemplifies PLDT Enterprise’s role as an architect of change, demonstrating their expertise in crafting impactful stories that resonate with the audience and galvanize the market. As champions of digital innovation, PLDT Enterprise’s approach goes beyond traditional methods, reflecting a pioneering spirit that is essential for leaders in the digital age.

Raising the Bar for Industry and Innovation

“As we celebrate these Stevie Awards, we’re reminded that at the heart of our innovative endeavors lies our commitment to our customers,” added Locsin. “PH Digicon and the ‘Visionaries’ campaign are embodiments of our promise to propel our business partners and customers to success, ensuring that every initiative is attuned to the needs and aspirations of our clients. This commitment is not just a tagline; it’s a guiding principle that steers our journey towards a customer-centric future. Our accolades in events and digital communication stand as milestones along this path, reaffirming our pledge to support every enterprise in achieving their digital transformation goals,” he concluded.

The Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards are renowned for recognizing innovation in all its forms across the 29 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. The wins at the Stevie Awards, alongside its recent accolades at the ANVIL and Quill Awards, further cement PLDT Enterprise’s position as a thought leader and customer-centric business in the telecommunications and digital services industry.

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