KUALA LUMPUR: The public should be urged against using social media to weaponise information, the Dewan Rakyat heard today.
Communications and Multimedia Deputy Minister Datuk Jailani Johari said that the number of social media users in the country rises every year, so caution should be exercised in order that the platform is not used to the detriment of society.
"In relation to recent personal data leaks, not only must the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 be abided by, but the public must have individual control over what they share online.
"As social media users, we have to refrain from revealing excessive information online," he added.
Jailani was responding to a question from Datuk Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom), who asked the ministry to state the number of WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, WeChat, Instagram and Twitter users in Malaysia.
Jailani said the numbers are high and rising.
Facebook users increased from 18.6 million in 2015 to 21.3 million last year.
Instagram users increased from nine million to 12.3 million in the same period.
YouTube, meanwhile, recorded 8.1 million users in 2015, which increased to 9.9 million in 2016.
Twitter also recorded an increase from 2015 to 2016, from 5.1 million users to 5.8 million respectively.
WeChat is the only social media outlet which saw a decline in users, from 11.6 million in 2015 to 9.6 million in 2016.
To protect their security, Jailani advised the public to frequently change the passwords of personal accounts using alphanumerics.
On Saturday, investigators probing a massive online breach of information of more than 46 million mobile phone subscribers in Malaysia traced the leak to an Internet Protocol (IP) address in Oman.
Also last week, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd announced that several magnetic tapes containing back-up data were lost in transit during routine operations.
Some of the tapes contained customer information of CIMB Bank and its subsidiaries.
To this, Jailani said that the bank must update its internal standard operating procedures; and the Department of Personal Data Protection will aid in the bank's technical processes if requested by police.