Team Approach to Cyber Security Awareness Month

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is again joining forces with law enforcement, government and other public safety partners to recognize Cyber Security Awareness Month and highlight the advancing threat posed by cybercriminals.

Cybercrime occurs when technology is used to carry out criminal offences or when technology is the target of the criminal offence. To the end of September 2020, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre received more than six thousand complaints of ‘cyberfraud’ via e-mail, internet or social media platforms from Ontario and identified 3,659 victims who sustained combined losses of $17.84-million. Phishing — an email or text message that appears to be from a legitimate person or organization but contains malicious links or attachments — accounts for a majority of all reported cyber security incidents. In our technologically-driven world, cyber security must continue to be a top priority for all internet users. Cyber security and cyber hygiene become even more important when working with personal and confidential information.

Cybercriminals have multiple motivators for doing what they do, and their criminal benefits can vary from financial or political gain to raising awareness for a cause or ideology or even causing damage through acts of anarchy. Their interests may serve themselves or a larger group in which they have a vested interest. The OPP, along with other police services and cyber security experts from across the country, want to safeguard all Ontarians from becoming victims of cybercrime.

This year, the OPP 2020 Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign has focussed on five primary themes:

1)   Cyber Security

2)   “Why Me?” Why Cyber-Thieves Want your Info

3)   How Attacks Work: Cybercrime Anatomy 101

4)   Thwarting Cybercriminals: How to Recognize and Respond to Threats

5)   Safety Practices for all Devices

The more we know about what motivates cybercriminals and how cybercrime works, the better we can protect ourselves and our devices from cyberattacks. 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.