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Building Thailand’s Cyber Resilience

Thailand is stepping up efforts to increase citizen vigilance against online crime. As part of the effort, the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society launched a workshop to develop online literacy skills.

Chaiwut Thanakmanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society and Chairman of the opening ceremony, acknowledges that cyber threats have increased as Thailand enters the digital age, with technology and online transactions driving almost all activities. Technology is not only convenient but it also allows the nation to speed up processes in a variety of activities such as communication, work and business.

ETDA reported an online scam increase 348 times in 2022 (January – November 2022), with 59,794 complaints received online. The number is higher compared to 2021, with only 54 contacts. The data was compiled from the 1212ETDA Online Help and Problem Management Centre’s online complaint-handling service. The contact centre discovered that online trading problems continue to be the most common online scam, followed by illegal websites, call centre gangs, SMS fraud, etc.

As a result, the project “1212 ETDA Workshop: Create a Landscape for Thai People to Know Online Problems” will assist participants in identifying online threats. Starting on January 25, the workshop is intended for officials, civil servants, and local leaders from ten provinces across the country.

“The 1212 ETDA Workshop is an example of proactive operations at the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, ETDA, and central and local partners. “This is an expansion of our ability to receive complaints and provide information services to Thais to promote trust and safety when conducting online transactions,” Chaiwut explained.

Nonetheless, convenience is accompanied by the dangers lurking in the online world, such as fraud and online crime, phoney call centre gangs, investment scams – online fundraising and financial scams, online gambling, trading scams, illegal websites and so on. Unfortunately, these issues continue to worsen.

Apart from established online support and problem-resolution services, ETDA will hold a workshop that will bring experts from related agencies to visit various areas to transfer knowledge and organise knowledge-building workshop activities. At the event, more than 2,000 people will be gathered and gain knowledge, understanding, and awareness of online threats through workshops. Furthermore, they expected to know how to deal with cybercriminal threats and support victims through various channels.

The seminars present content that is simple to grasp. It will also provide the most recent information on various forms of online threat trends and deception. The event will also raise online awareness and literacy, allowing people to use the internet creatively.

Online scammers, fake news, and financial crime in Thailand are significant concerns. Taking note of the situation, the government recently launched an application to provide citizens with enhanced protection. The Ministry of Digital collaborated with the state-owned Krung Thai Bank to launch “Pao Tang,” a warning system for online scams and misinformation.

Wisit Wisitsora-at, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES), and Payong Sriwanich, President of Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited, agree to raise awareness and alert people about online fraud using the “Pao Tang” application.

The wallet app will be another channel for disseminating factual information verified by government agencies. The apps will issue warnings about online scams and fake news associated with financial fraud or financial crime. As a result, users can keep up with the current situation and deal with the new complexity that has caused severe damage.

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