Thai ministry offers guidelines on how to use social media

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The Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry has released guidelines and a handbook for consumer and business protection in the context of safe social media use and cyberthreats.

The ministry set aside 53 million baht for 2017 to run a campaign raising awareness of cybersecurity threats for businesses and ensuring better understanding of the risks of social media use.

The guidelines recommend early introduction of what consumers and businesses should and shouldn’t do on social media networks to prevent them from breaking the law and to protect them from cyberrisks.

Gp Capt Somsak Khaosuwan, deputy permanent secretary of the DE Ministry, said it will hold various seminars to address cybersecurity issues and concerns.

The seminars will take place in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ubon Ratchathani, Rayong, Ratchaburi and Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The ministry will also provide tips to help protect consumers when they use social networks, helping them stay safe on social media sites.

Gp Capt Somsak said Thais do not understand the appropriate use of social media and the Computer Crime Act.

“Consumers need to be educated on the proper use of social media and need to understand the impact of cybercrime laws and a series of new digital economy laws,” he said.

Consumers should be able to enjoy social media without making themselves a target for criminals, said Gp Capt Somsak.

Small e-commerce operators do not yet understand how to protect themselves from fraud, phishing, scams, hacking, or even system attacks, he said.

Cybercrime has a negative impact on the country’s economy and society, especially as Thailand moves to a digital economy, said Gp Capt Somsak.

An internal report conducted by the DE Ministry found there are 92 million mobile subscribers active in Thailand.

Some 65% of total mobile subscribers access Facebook, 64% use YouTube, and almost 50% have a Line account.

Another internal ministry report found 4,000 instances of cyberattacks on both government and private sector websites in Thailand last year, an increase of 10% from 2015.

The cyberattacks include fraud, scams, hacking, system attacks, and use of malware for cybercrime, terrorism, or even destruction.

Thailand’s e-commerce market was valued at 2.5 trillion baht last year, up from 2.2 trillion in 2015.

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency plans to spend 700 million baht in 2017, up from 400 million in 2016, to upgrade its IT system, improving the security of the government’s critical websites as well as accommodating the country’s e-commerce ecosystem.

-The Bangkok Post