THE UNIVERSITY on Sunday urged Thomasians to stay vigilant after several students and faculty members reported multiple impostor accounts on Facebook.

UST, in a statement, told Thomasians to be wary of interacting with the “suspicious accounts,” some of which have reportedly sent threatening messages.

“We also advise everyone to employ best practices in keeping their online accounts and data secure, such as by changing login credentials and adjusting privacy settings,” UST said.

The proliferation of dummy Facebook accounts were first reported by the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu. Duplicate accounts of UP Cebu students emerged after they were arrested for protesting against the anti-terrorism bill on June 5.

UST Central Student Council President Robert Dominic Gonzales said he found multiple Facebook accounts using his name, which were taken down as soon as they were reported.

Gonzales reiterated the importance of securing personal information and contact details to prevent the occurrence of identity theft.

“With the countless past negative experiences that we had with the current government, we cannot deny the fact that these alone are enough reasons to be worried about,” Gonzales told the Varsitarian

UST Journalism Society President Lorenzo Emmanuel Arroyo, who found seven fake accounts under his name, said social media has enabled an “easier way for the ill-minded to do such crimes.”

Arroyo urged Thomasians to enable two-factor authentication when signing in to their accounts.

“Maybe this is a wake up call to be more careful with what we share on social media. Although the internet is a free space, it is not necessarily a safe space,” Arroyo told the Varsitarian.

Other universities in Metro Manila also released statements condemning the surge in fake Facebook accounts.


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