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  • State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, is urging Jamaicans to exercise greater care in protecting their personal security in cyberspace.
  • The Minister, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank last Friday (October 9), said that while the Internet has allowed for increased efficiency, there are greater risks for the average Jamaican, and so users can expect both negative and positive experiences.
  • For the month of October, the Ministry will be giving security tips as a part of a public awareness campaign to sensitise Jamaicans about the threat of cybercrimes.

State Minister in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, is urging Jamaicans to exercise greater care in protecting their personal security in cyberspace.

The Minister, who was addressing a JIS Think Tank last Friday (October 9), said that while the Internet has allowed for increased efficiency, there are greater risks for the average Jamaican, and so users can expect both negative and positive experiences.

He urged persons to be more discerning when using unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, for example.

“You should be conscious… It wouldn’t be advisable to do online banking at these spots. Things which expose confidential information or private information are not advisable to do at a Wi-Fi hotspot,” he said.

He pointed out that an open Wi-Fi hotspot means that it is easy for anybody to have access, “and smart people can get into your own data, based on public access to these Wi-Fi hotspots.”

Mr. Robinson also advised that online users should try to maintain unique passwords that would prevent cybercriminals from getting access to their online accounts.

“Using obvious things like your name or date of birth is not wise as these would be the first things that criminals would try to access your accounts,” he pointed out.

He also cautioned against using the same password for all online accounts as getting the password to one account could easily grant access to all other records.

The State Minister is also urging persons to exercise discretion when sharing information online.

“There are so many activities that can take place online, in particular for children and students. Manage privacy and security settings in social media, in terms of how much you post, how much you expose about where you are, like location settings. Simple things like that are important, because if you are using social media, someone can track you very easily. That is something that people have to manage,” he noted.

Mr. Robinson added that keeping security software updated on all devices that can connect to the Internet would also help to increase online security. “Having the most up-to-date mobile security software, operating system and apps, is the best defence against viruses,” he pointed out.

For the month of October, the Ministry will be giving security tips as a part of a public awareness campaign to sensitise Jamaicans about the threat of cybercrimes.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is being observed in October globally.