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Campaign to educate public on digital data protection amid growing cybercrimes

Campaign to educate public on digital data protection amid growing cybercrimes

THURSDAY, September 08, 2016
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AUTHORITIES are preparing campaigns to educate the public and undertake other precautionary measures to curb fast-growing financial cybercrimes amid increasing digital transactions.

Thailand now has more than 23 million digital banking accounts.
Korkij Danchaivichit, deputy secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecom Commission (NBTC), said the agency will host a high-level conference next week with the Bank of Thailand, the Thai Bankers’ Association and the Telecomunication Association of Thailand to discuss measures aimed at boosting public confidence in digital banking services following a rise in cybercrimes.
The popularity of digital banking services has also seen a rise in financial cybercrimes. These will be used as case studies to come up with preventive measures, he said. 
Thanasit Subchote-wat, a senior official of the Bank of Thailand responsible for information communication technology affairs, said the country now has around 10 million Internet banking accounts and another 13 million mobile banking accounts, reflecting the significant role of technology in overall banking services.
Thanasit said the number of digital banking accounts will continue to rise hence users will have to be educated so as to help prevent financial cybercrimes and theft of money online. Users need to ensure that they protect their passwords of mobile phones and digital banking accounts and they should not open suspicious links to avoid being infected with malware or computer viruses, which could allow criminals to hack the mobile phones and digital banking accounts.
In addition, Thanisit said users should avoid using public Wi-Fi services for their banking transactions, as such facilities allow hackers to access digital banking accounts easily.
“Though there is no 100-per-cent security system, we must ensure we take the best possible actions to protect ourselves. It’s like your house; you need to lock the doors and close the windows. Similarly, if we use digital banking accounts we also need to have multiple locks to prevent our accounts from getting hacked. The public and private sector need to increase public understanding on this issue, especially the risks from using free public Wi-Fi if you have digital banking accounts,” he said.
NBTC member Pravit Leestaporn said the government and commercial banks have to fully educate the public on the benefits of the Prompt Pay e-payment system as well as the risks, as some people are still not sure of the system’s security. So far, details of the agreement to use the government-sponsored e-payment service have not been well understood, he said, adding some people are also concerned about privacy as their personal information is revealed when they register for the Prompt Pay service.
“The number of online cheats has increased and it has become more complicated, as there are now more e-commerce transactions where payment is made but the buyers do not get their goods. We need to streamline and speed up the process to protect consumer interests in this area,” he said.