The cat is now out of the bag, but there’s still other things you can do
We’ve been reporting about the Comelec data hack for some time now even though they’ve tried to downplay the extent of the data breach. And make no mistake – it’s a massive breach, easily affecting almost 55 million Filipinos who have voted anytime in the last decade. Obviously the cat is out of the bag, nothing can be done about it now since hackers have now created an easily searchable website. You don’t even need to know the full name of the person you’re looking for – you just need to put in the first, last or middle name, and start sifting through the database from there.
That being said, is there something you can do? Well, short of physically moving from the address that’s in the database, not much. There are a few things you can do though that will help add an extra layer of protection for you:
Change your security question
This one is pretty simple to do. If your security question for your account is your maiden name or the street you reside in, change it ASAP. It’s the easiest information to access in the hack, and is usually the one used in resetting passwords to gain access to your account. Speaking of passwords:
Enable two-factor authentication for EVERYTHING
Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that you can add to your email, Facebook, Twitter, IG, etc. account that sends your phone a code that confirms it is you trying to log on to your account. Sites that have two-factor authentication usually send you a text message with an access code before resetting the password.
Report the website so it gets taken down
Although the data of the Comelec is already out in the wild, in its raw form it’s not easily searchable. That’s why the new site that exposes the data is so dangerous – it makes it so that anybody can search the site with just a name. You can help take the site down by reporting it to Cloudfare (ww.cloudfare.com/abuse/form), GoDaddy (supportcenter.godaddy.com/abusereport) and Google Adsense (support.google.com/adsense/contact/violation_report).
Finally, be extra vigilant
With so much personal data out in the wild about you (if you’re part of the hack), it’s important to be extra vigilant about requests for data about yourself and your loved ones through social media, email, snail mail and others. Don’t give out more data than you need to when applying for anything, and be extra cautious about “special offers” that may come your way in the following months. The problems with privacy for the people included in the hack is just beginning though – be sure to keep your eyes peeled in the coming months and years.