Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Keep the FLAMES burning this Valentine’s Day and protect yourself from scammers

“No one can really predict when and how a scammer attacks. We must always be careful not to fall for their schemes. This Valentine’s Day, everyone must be vigilant. Remember, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.” ~Jonathan John B. Paz, BPI Enterprise Information Security Officer and Data Protection Officer

Recall the 90s game known as FLAMES, which stood for Friends, Lovers, Anger, Marriage, Engagement (or Enemy for some), Soulmates. This popular pen and paper activity was widely enjoyed by young teenagers who would use the letters of their crush's name to "predict" their future.

Fast forward to this day and age, “FLAMES” can guide adults and teens alike. But this time on a more serious note.

BPI’s ‘FLAMES’ reminder consists of simple cybersecurity tips that account holders can do to keep their accounts safe and secure especially this Valentine’s Day:
  • F-riends? Family? It is better to keep confidential details like your PINs and passwords a secret (even) from them.
  • L-ove to share your latest updates online? This is okay but be sure to set boundaries. Avoid oversharing, especially on social media, for your and your loved ones’ safety. 
  • A-nger, excitement, and curiosity are some of the most common emotional trigger's scammers latch on to for their social engineering scams. Too much of these feelings can also be used as bait to manipulate you. 
  • M-arriage between online and offline cybersecurity practices is a good habit to develop. It is not enough to be careful with your actions online only but not offline, and vice-versa.
  • E-ngage only with trusted accounts. When planning to use e-commerce, do background checks first and read reviews about the sellers or product. Legitimate Facebook pages have the blue verified badges on them.
  • S-oulmate? One-True Pair. Just like them, take care of your One-Time PINs (OTPs) as well by never sharing them with anyone.

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) presents a ‘FLAMES’ way—of protecting against scammers. 

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