JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Parents are being encouraged to be more vigilant about Internet use in the home as the country observes October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, under the overarching theme ‘Cybersecurity, our Shared Responsibility’.
  • For week one, the theme ‘Ensuring Online Safety at Home’ has been chosen to focus on sharing basic cyber essentials for the family and measures individuals can employ to protect their homes from cyberthreats.

Parents are being encouraged to be more vigilant about Internet use in the home as the country observes October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month, under the overarching theme ‘Cybersecurity, our Shared Responsibility’.

For week one, the theme ‘Ensuring Online Safety at Home’ has been chosen to focus on sharing basic cyber essentials for the family and measures individuals can employ to protect their homes from cyberthreats.

Activities for the month are being organised by the Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team (Ja-CIRT), at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Head of Ja-CIRT, Dr. Moniphia Hewling, says the theme, though international, is relevant in the local context, since “indicators are showing a resurgence of ransomware,” among other forms of cyberattack.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ recently, Dr. Hewling said parents are being encouraged to learn about the technology and guide the children accordingly.

For his part, Manager of Systems Engineers for the Caribbean at Fortinet, Layard Terrero, said the availability of Internet-accessible devices can lead to threats against the home.

“Years ago, we had only a computer and maybe a cell phone, but now we have televisions, laptops, tablets and watches that connect to the Internet. And all of these devices [can become] compromised,” he noted, adding that social media sites can also be channels of attack.

The sensitivity of the information shared through these devices increases the risk faced by individuals in the home, and the attacks can range from stolen personal information and virus contraction to cyberbullying and being lured into human trafficking.

To protect children and teenagers from falling prey to these types of cyberattacks, parents are asked to assist children with their homework, particularly those that require them to go online; monitor the sites they visit and applications they use and remind them to never share personal information online, such as their home address, passwords and log-in information.

For the rest of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Ja-CIRT will focus on online safety at work, careers in cybersecurity and safeguarding the nation’s critical infrastructure.