Cybercrime is any crime in which a computer is the object of the crime or is used as a tool to commit an offence. Most common cybercrimes work by accessing/stealing sensitive and personal information that can cause great damage to personal finances.
It may also include cyber-bullying, where a person is shamed or ridiculed using the internet. This is especially common among teenagers and young people.
Cybercrimes are preventable. Being empowered with the right information and a few simple steps to protect your safety, you can enjoy the internet while keeping your property, privacy and loved ones secure.
Be Cyber safe and protect yourself online by practicing these simple steps:
STOP before you use the internet. Take time to understand the risks. Learn how to stop potential problems.
THINK: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety or the safety of your family.
CONNECT: Enjoy the internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
Here are some considerations to take into account with cyber security:
Virus protection is a very effective way to keep your files and personal information safe. Invest in programmes or software that will protect your computer from hackers, viruses and malware. Some examples are McAfee AntiVirus, BitDefender or Norton Internet Security Software.
Use Secure Internet Networks
Be careful when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks because anyone in your vicinity can access your information if the connection is not secure.
You can check the network security by looking for a small padlock symbol beside the URL (at the top of your browser, where you enter the web addresses).
Use a secure password
It is convenient to have easy passwords to access your accounts, but this convenience will put you at risk. To protect yourself from cybercrime, try to use passwords that are known to be associated with you, for example: birth dates and names of spouses.
Secure passwords should have at least 5 – 8 characters, at least one capital letter, and at least one number in its combination.
Do not use the same password for all your accounts. With the same password – if a hacker gets access to one account, they will have access to others.
Keep your information private
Do not share your ATM or online passwords with anyone. If your passwords are compromised in any way, change them immediately.
Use Encryption software
If you have a spreadsheet of passwords or other digital files that are highly sensitive, consider keeping them encrypted using free file encryption tools such as VeraCrypt or BitLocker. These are easy to download online and will assist in keeping your information safe from cyber criminals.
Keep tabs on your bank statements, know how much money you have, monitor your transaction history and pay attention to bank notices. Focus on protecting yourself from any of these threats by keeping informed and vigilant.
Practice logging out and closing your internet browser at the end of each online banking session.
Always protect your passwords, PIN and answers to your personal verification questions.
Most importantly, contact your bank’s customer care centre immediately if you know or suspect that there has been suspicious and unauthorised activity in your account.
Have a back up
Always back up files in other secure locations. You may copy your important files to discs, flash drives or online storage for later use or if needed in the case of an emergency. If your devices are damaged or stolen, you will still be able to access your files from an alternative source.
For more information on cyber security in Jamaica, contact.
Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team
Ministry of Science Energy and Technology
36 Trafalgar Road
Phone: (876) 929 – 8990 – 9 or (876) 960 – 1623