Thursday, May 23, 2024

Google PH says Pinoys now more wary of online threats

Google Philippines recently organized a “Safer Internet Day” outreach campaign in its headquarters to shed light on the emerging trends on cyberthreats and online safety.

During the pandemic, physical in-person engagements hosted by Google Philippines to raise awareness and inform Filipinos – mostly young kids and students who are oblivious to the dangers lurking on the Web — were suspended.

Pre-pandemic, Google focused on educating users to take stock of their respective digital health by performing a security check to see which applications are consuming their data.

Mervin Wenke, head of communication and public affairs at Google Philippines

“Today, we celebrate ‘Safer Internet Day,’ a global celebration to promote the safer and much responsible use of the Internet. Now more than ever, it’s really needed. More people are online so we have to really launch a digital responsibility program,” said Mervin Wenke, head of communication and public affairs at Google Philippines.

“Despite the difficulties of the lockdown, we really had to continue it. We resorted to a lot of measures, we did a lot of online webinars and online outreach just to be able to reach students and kids to learn more about internet safety,” he continued.

Wenke shared that with the help of volunteers and content creators in the Philippines, Google was able to spread its message on internet safety to 416,000 students and kids from vulnerable communities during the pandemic.

For this year’s iteration of Safer Internet Day, Google added updated tips on how users can protect themselves and their families online.

“At Google, digital responsibility is so important that’s why we invest in a lot of outreach and engagements like these to create conversations about internet safety. We deliver on this commitment through three things: through programs and partnerships…product policies in place…and of course, we have products, services, and insights,” Wenke explained further.

Based on data available via Google Trends – a free tool that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across the globe, the Philippines is among the top three countries searching for ‘computer virus’ and ‘computer emergency response team’ in 2022. This is also the country’s 10-year high when it comes to search interest on computer virus.

Meanwhile, the top cyber security topics searched for by Filipinos in 2022 include : Malware Scanner, WinNuke, Computer Virus, Password Manager, Computer Security, Rootkit, Email Bomb, Random Password Generator, Data Breach, and Trojan Horse.

“Filipinos are becoming more and more curious on what are the trends out there or what each threat means, which is a good sign because we’re becoming more aware and going to Google to look for trusted information,” he commented.

Google Philippines recommends taking advantage of the Google Password Manager platform for creating unique passwords and to be notified for password breaches, taking a closer look on suspicious emails and websites, visiting URLs which only have the grey locked icon that indicates a secure connection, activating two-step verification, performing a Privacy Checkup, and making sure that apps are updates with the latest security patches.

“It’s impossible to tackle Safer Internet Day without talking about being in control of our data. Google is committed to putting you first, and giving you full agency of your data online. We believe that the ads that you see online is influenced by your settings,” he concluded.

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