17 May 2019
Do these local celebs trust other people with their phones?
It’s been a rather challenging time for a handful of local artistes with mobile phones and social media pages. A few weeks ago, actresses Aileen Tan and Chen Xiuhuan, as well as celebrity hairstylist David Gan, temporarily lost their Instagram accounts to hackers (all three have since managed to get them back, thankfully).
Then, a few days ago, an intimate private conversation between Ian Fang and Carrie Wong made headlines when it was leaked to the press by an unknown party who somehow managed to access their DM (direct message) thread on Carrie’s Instagram accounts and record a video of it. According to a statement by The Celebrity Agency, both stars have filed police reports and are currently seeking legal counsel.
With these recent breaches of cybersecurity, we couldn’t help but wonder how other public figures might be feeling about the state of their own online privacy, and if there could be anyone else besides themselves who’s able to log into their phones and social media accounts.
Read on to see what some of them had to tell us...
17 May 2019
It looks like there are no secrets between the actor and his wife Kate Pang, as the couple have complete access to each others’ mobile devices. “I can trust her with my kids and my wellbeing, so I can trust her with everything else,” said Andie in a very matter-of-fact way.
However, he very wisely doesn’t have the same faith in technology itself. “I think there is a risk of anybody getting their privacy invaded on not just our phones, but also our computers, tablets, and any other device where we store personal info,” he said. “I try not to be too concerned when I’m talking with my friends online, but I am careful with what I say to strangers.”
That said, he understands that there is no 100 percent foolproof way to avoid online safety breaches completely. “Our phones are such an integral part of our lives. I try to keep things as private as possible, and I never sell away my old devices, but the risk is always there and there’s nothing much you can do about it, except to try and lower the risk.”
Photos: Instagram/Andie Chen
17 May 2019
Studying Information Systems at Singapore Management University (SMU) has led Chantalle to understand just how easily one’s safety can be compromised. “Security is something I value and so I’ve been trying to be as safe as possible,” said the actress.
One of the cybersecurity measures she takes is something most of us are way too lazy to do: she changes her passwords frequently (and makes sure that they are all strong ones). She and Kimberly Chia, whom she called her “best friend from the industry”, have also been “diligently deleting sensitive messages after sending them because we’re both paranoid about IT security”, she added with a laugh (it’s a good type of paranoia to have, as recent events have shown).
As such, it came as no surprise when she told us that nobody has access to her phone or social media accounts except herself. “Once I had a posting collaboration with a brand and they requested for my password so they could log into my account to boost the post, but I was uncomfortable with that,” she recalled. “I think my password should be strictly confidential.”
Photos: Instagram/Chantalle Ng
17 May 2019
Hayley didn’t seem too bothered at the thought of someone somehow getting their hands on the contents of her phone as she confidently stated that she has “nothing to hide”. “If you didn’t do anything wrong, then you have nothing to be afraid of,” she shrugged.
She continued, “I guess if you are really afraid of losing important stuff, then one thing to do is to have your phone with you at all times, but it’s all up to fate: even if you wanted to hide, you can’t wrap fire with paper.”
While the actress herself is the only one with access to her phone and her own social media account, someone else manages the page of her official fanclub Hayleycopters. “When I have events with my fans, I will sometimes pass my phone to my fanclub admin,” she shared. “I’ve known her for eight or nine years and I trust her absolutely.”
As for whether she will be more careful with what she says online from now on, Hayley said, “As public figures, what we do or say definitely might have an impact on others, so I guess it’s better to think twice before saying anything because it could influence or hurt people.”
Photos: Instagram/Hayley Woo, Hayleycopters
17 May 2019
Nat mirrored Hayley’s opinion that “if you don’t do anything shady, then there’s nothing to be worried about”. He also believes he’s generally quite safe from hacking as he avoids “downloading apps from weird places” that could potentially plant an invasive virus in his device.
Still, he is aware that anything could happen, even if one is as vigilant as him. “Some people might have personal assistants or leave their phones around, and you never know who might access your phone, so basic stuff like making sure you have a secure password is useful,” he mused, adding that aside from himself, the only other person he gives his phone to is his manager when he’s busy at events (and if a celeb can’t trust their manager, who can they trust?).
And last but not least, Nat had an important message to share: “It would be great if everyone just minded their own business. As an artiste, I just focus on the things that I want to do. For people who might be interested in celebrities’ lives, I can tell you that it’s really not that interesting. Everyone’s just trying to live their best life.”
Photos: Instagram/Nat Ho