Everyone can combat cybercrime

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Ontario Provincial Police press release – Cybercrime costs all Ontarians by directly victimizing individuals, businesses and provincial infrastructure. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) views Cyber Security Awareness Month as an opportunity to take a multi-pronged approach to address the many threats posed by cybercriminals and, through education and awareness, reducing cybercrime and its negative impact.

“As we near the second decade of the 21st century, we must all recognize the real and serious impact cybercrime has on our communities. Everyone has a role to play in preventing the increasing risk of cybercrime victimization within Ontario,” said Thomas Carrique, OPP Commissioner. “The OPP knows that it is essential that we collaborate with our public safety partners to manage risks, reduce threats and minimize harm to our community members. We encourage everyone to educate and protect themselves from cybercriminals.”

Cybercrime occurs when technology is used to carry out criminal offences such as fraud, identity theft, cyberbullying and child exploitation; or when technology is the target of the criminal offence, such as the disruption of computer systems through ransomware or Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. In 2019, ransomware attacks in Ontario alone have cost victims millions of dollars to repair and mitigate. In Canada, cybercrime now totals in the billions of dollars annually.

As technology develops and interconnectivity of computer devices continues to expand through the ‘Internet of Things,’ there are increasingly more opportunities for cybercriminals to victimize those neither prepared nor knowledgeable on how to protect themselves and their workplaces from cyber-attacks.

The OPP, along with other police services and cybersecurity experts from across the country, want to safeguard all Ontarians from becoming victims of cybercrime. This October, the OPP 2019 Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign will focus on four themes:

  • How Cyber Threats Work and How They Affect You
  • How to Protect Yourself Online
  • Reporting Fraud and Scams
  • Preventing Cyber Threats

For helpful tips and links, follow the OPP on Twitter (@OPP_News), Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #CyberAware.

If you or someone you know suspects they have been a victim of digital or online cybercrime, contact your local police service or local OPP detachment, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or p3tips.com.