Even sharing SPM results online can make you a target for information thieves, warns the head of the government’s personal data agency

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The director of the personal data protection department, Mazmalek Mohamad, said that there are syndicates with foreign brokers who offer money in exchange for anyone’s personal information and data. — AFP photo

By R. Loheswar

Saturday, August 20, 2022 9:39 AM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 – Malaysians need to be more vigilant about anything they share online on social media as scammers will take advantage of any chance to steal their personal information, a government protection watchdog has said. personal data.

The director of the personal data protection department, Mazmalek Mohamad, said that there are syndicates with foreign brokers who offer money in exchange for anyone’s personal information and data, malaysia reported today.

He said investigations show that these brokers operate overseas, based on internet protocols found by his department, making it difficult to apprehend them.

“Let’s take the example of a private institution of higher education (IPTS) which wants 1,000 names of students. They can access these public servers and from there they could, for example, recruit 20 students,” he said.

“In fact, last month we received complaints from the public that they had received recruitment messages from the IPTS after the release of the SPM results. This happens when the parent uploads the child’s results online.

“We want to share their joy but at the same time there are parties who would steal the IC number from the results sheet and sell it to whoever needs it. Even those who have not applied for other studies receive these posts,” he said.

He warned that section 130 of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 makes the unlawful collection, disclosure or sale of personal data a crime punishable by imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of RM500,000 or both.

Mazmalek urged the public to read and understand the terms and conditions before agreeing to provide their personal information to anyone.

He also reminded them that personal information shared via Whatsapp and Telegram can also be exposed, especially if you don’t know who is in those groups.

“There might be scammers in these groups who join just to get your phone number to trick you,” he said.

To avoid a data breach, Mazmalek advised against using public Wi-Fi or downloading apps that look suspicious to avoid phishing.

He said the majority of personal information theft occurs through online shopping and online banking.

He previously revealed that there have been 3,699 personal data breach reports in Malaysia since 2017.

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