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Experts say enhanced safety needed to protect personal data online


09:33, January 04, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese experts have called for enhanced Internet safety management and new legislation following a recent spate of personal information leaks that sent millions of netizens into panic mode.

Those hacker attacks were first revealed about two weeks ago when more than 6 million user accounts and passwords on CSDN, or China Software Developer Network, the country's largest programmers' website, were made public.

The situation escalated within days, as the information of millions of subscribers to several popular social networking and gaming websites also fell victim to a cyber attack.

In response to these leaks, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a notice on Dec. 28, asking Internet service providers (ISP) to beef up protection of users' information through better internal management and new technologies.

Chinese experts agreed with the MIIT and added some new suggestions.

"Individual users should change their passwords regularly to reduce potential leaking risks," said Yang Xudong, a computer science expert with the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.

They also noted that in addition to raising users' awareness, ISPs and government authorities should make greater efforts in curbing such infringements.

ISPs should shoulder due social responsibilities in preventing future leaks, said Chen Jinqiao, deputy chief engineer of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute under the MIIT.

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