Po­lice pro­mote cy­ber se­cu­ri­ty

Le Reflet (The News) - - COMMUNITY -

Oc­to­ber is the month for both Thanks­gi­ving and Hal­lo­ween in Ca­na­da. But the On­ta­rio Pro­vin­cial Po­lice (OPP) is concer­ned that some On­ta­rio re­si­dents may be the tar­gets of In­ter­net tricks­ters who are thank­ful for pu­blic igno­rance about cy­ber se­cu­ri­ty be­cause it al­lows for ea­sy cre­dit card hacks and other per­so­nal iden­ti­ty treats for vir­tual thieves.

The OPP and other po­lice forces in On­ta­rio and other parts of Ca­na­da have de­cla­red Oc­to­ber as Cy­ber Se­cu­ri­ty Awa­re­ness Month as part of a cam­pai­gn to pro­mote both In­ter­net sa­fe­ty and pu­blic awa­re­ness about the risks of per­so­nal iden­ti­ty theft. The 21st-cen­tu­ry cri­mi­nal, an OPP press re­lease, no­ted, is of­ten going af­ter in­for­ma­tion and da­ta sys­tems du­ring a “vir­tual bur­gla­ry” for va­luables like bank and cre­dit card ac­count num­bers along with other per­so­nal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion de­tails that they can ei­ther use them­selves to com­mit other crimes or sell on the “dark Web” to other cri­mi­nals for their own use.

Last year the top 10 cy­ber scams net­ted cri­mi­nals more than $1 bil­lion from vic­tims in Ca­na­da alone. OPP sta­tis­tics trans­late that in­to 80,000 vic­tims each day tri­cked in­to ei­ther di­vul­ging per­so­nal fi­nan­cial and iden­ti­ty in­for­ma­tion or using their own cre­dit cards to ei­ther pay off bo­gus bills or buy goods and ser­vices that ne­ver exis­ted or sup­port fake cha­ri­ties. That’s about the size of the po­pu­la­tion of Sar­nia or Pe­ter­bo­rough, On­ta­rio.

This year’s OPP Cy­ber Se­cu­ri­ty Awa­re­ness Month cam­pai­gn has four fo­cus to­pics for both mem­bers of the po­lice force and for the ge­ne­ral pu­blic. Those to­pics are free Wi-Fi use and pass­word pro­tec­tion, phi­shing and ran­som­ware scams tar­ge­ting in­di­vi­duals and bu­si­nesses, ris­ky email at­tach­ments, and on­line child sa­fe­ty.

Help­ful in­for­ma­tion and de­tails of the OPP cy­ber­se­cu­ri­ty pro­gram are avai­lable through the OPP’s so­cial me­dia links on Twit­ter (@OPP_News), or its Fa­ce­book and Ins­ta­gram pages using the ha­sh­tags #Cy­ber­Se­cu­ri­ty, #Cy­berA­ware, and #OPPTips. Lo­cal OPP de­tach­ments al­so have in­for­ma­tion pam­phlets on In­ter­net se­cu­ri­ty and pro­tec­tion ad­vice.

Anyone who thinks they may be a tar­get of a di­gi­tal fraud, through a sus­pi­cious email, or a pho­ny web­site, con­tact the lo­cal OPP de­tach­ment or the Ca­na­dian An­ti-Fraud Centre, or to the Cri­meS­top­pers toll-free tips line at 1-800-222-8477.

The OPP and other po­lice forces in On­ta­rio and other parts of Ca­na­da have de­cla­red Oc­to­ber as Cy­ber Se­cu­ri­ty Awa­re­ness Month as part of a cam­pai­gn to pro­mote both In­ter­net sa­fe­ty and pu­blic awa­re­ness about the risks of per­so­nal iden­ti­ty theft.

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