J'cans urged to protect themselves against cyberattacksThursday, March 14, 2019
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams is calling on Jamaicans to educate themselves in cybersecurity measures to protect their information from cyberattacks.
“It is absolutely imperative that we take cybersecurity and data security seriously at all levels. Something as seemingly harmless as downloading an app or clicking on a link can have serious personal and financial implications for users or an entity. Cyberthreats are real and no one is immune,” she said.
Williams was speaking at a public forum put on by the National Consumers League of Jamaica (NCLJ) in observance of World Consumer Rights Day 2019, to be celebrated on March 15 under the theme 'Trusted Smart Products'.
The forum was held yesterday at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) in Kingston.
The minister listed some of the most common cybercrimes experienced by consumers, including having a device infected by a virus or other security threat, experiencing debit or credit card fraud, and having an account password compromised.
Other cybercrimes that persons commonly fall victim to are unauthorised access to, or hacking of an email or social media account; making a purchase online that turns out to be a scam; clicking on fraudulent email; and providing sensitive information in response to fraudulent email.
“Some persons may think their data or information is not valuable or of interest for anyone to steal, but let me dispel this myth. We live in a time where data (personal, health, financial) is important and data is king. It is, therefore, incumbent on us to keep our data safe, and that is why we urge individuals to use social media safely. Do not overshare. You will never know who is accessing your information,” she warned.
She urged persons to install the necessary safeguards and use strong passwords on devices and networks and to exercise caution when engaging in online transactions. “Think before you click on suspicious links, and be mindful of applications or programmes which require personal information,” Williams said.
The NCLJ has organised several activities to observe the day, including two other public forums on Thursday, March 14 at Saint William Grant Park, downtown Kingston; and the National Council for Senior Citizens on World Consumer Rights Day, March 15.
The local theme for World Consumer Rights Day is 'Smart Consumer in A Digital Age'.