Cybercrime, the new manner to conduct crime without leaving fingerprints has evolved over the years to now becoming a major part of the police daily activities to protect and serve. Here locally, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is joining the effort to boost public safety by generating awareness to alleviate the many threats from cyber criminals.
In observing Cyber Security Awareness month which begins tomorrow, the OPP is looking to engage in a public awareness social media and media campaign. As part of this campaign, the OPP is using its Cyber Strategy to educate its 9,000-member force to ensure its, “information systems and data remain secure while building capacity to support modern investigations,” according to a news release from the OPP.
The focus of this campaign will be in four areas, free Wi-Fi use and password protection, phishing ransomware for both personal and corporate scams, email attachments and online child safety.
The key to the success of this campaign and to keep us safe in cyberspace is to have the participation of everyone. The OPP Commissioner, J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes pointed to this in the release, “Everyone within our organization also has a critical role to play to secure OPP data and information systems as we implement the OPP Cyber Strategy. Everyone will receive training that explains cyber threats and teaches cyber hygiene practices, which they can then relay to their own families, friends and business contacts.”
Criminals who perpetrated the top ten cybercrimes in Canada during 2015 earned an estimated 1.2 billion dollars with around 80,000 people unsuspectingly falling prey to these scams daily. As part of its awareness campaign during the month, the OPP will join police services and subject matter experts countrywide to stimulate awareness so as to prevent Canadians from becoming victims of online crime.
The Government of Canada has shared the following helpful tips to make our cyber activities safer:
- Protect your identity by using different usernames and harder to guess passwords for different accounts
- Turn on your firewall
- Use anti-virus software
- Block spyware attacks by installing anti-spyware software
- Install the latest operating system updates
- Back up your files and store it in a safe place
- Protect your wireless network
- Delete emails from unknown senders
- Surf the Web safely and be careful when sharing personal information
- Get expert help
If you or someone you know are a victim of online crime, contact your local police service, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, or report it to the OPP online at http://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=132 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) at https://www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm