With the use of smartphones and social media, information is spread so quickly nowadays that the public sometimes learns of the latest news before it is broadcast on official platforms.
It has become commonplace to receive viral messages containing personal details of people involved in an incident, whether they are victims of unfortunate accidents, or people in need of financial or medical help. Personal identification details such as identity card (IC) or passport details also get forwarded in group chats or social media.
Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is valuable to criminals.
Personal details can be used fraudulently and exposes people to risk of:
- Identity theft
- Invasion of privacy
- When you receive messages containing someone’s personal information, do not forward it. Delete the message immediately.
- Do not share anyone’s photos or personal information on social media, instant messaging groups or forums.
- If you receive messages seeking financial assistance for a person in need, contact the organization or charity coordinator to verify who the donation will go to.
- Avoid taking photos of donation recipients and their homes to be respectful of their dignity and privacy. Always ask for their permission.
- If you find a lost identification document such as IC or passport, return it to the rightful owner or to the nearest police station.