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Personal data protection a necessity in digital age

By Alexis Hooi | China Daily | Updated: 2019-03-15 08:07

Not too long ago, I almost fell victim to a phone scam. If not for a quick-witted colleague, who pointed out that the scammer masquerading as a suburban tax office employee should more likely than not sport a local accent, I would have divulged personal financial information that could have resulted in painful losses.

The incident made me more guarded about giving out any personal details whatsoever, especially those to do with money. That is, until I was back in Beijing. In just two days, I revealed my bank account details to at least five online vendors. I also provided them with other personal information such as addresses and contact numbers. Binding my bank cards to mobile payment platforms was not only straightforward and seamless, but also necessary if I wanted to be part of an increasingly cashless marketplace where I could pay for food, other basic necessities and an expanding array of services.

But the paranoia planted in me by that close call with scammers made for sleepless nights. Who knew what my information was being used for? And if accessing my funds was simply a few mouse clicks away, wouldn't it be just as easy for identity thieves to do so?

Personal data protection a necessity in digital age

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