The OPP wants you to stay safe on the internet.

The provincial police out a list of tips on cyber-security because they believe greater awareness can help prevent citizens and businesses from becoming the victims of cyber-crimes.

“Everyone is a target for malicious online activity, including youth, businesses and government offices,” Bancroft OPP Constable Sussane Cox says. “Cybercriminals extort money and personal data from unsuspecting victims by taking advantage of low cybersecurity awareness. Individuals and businesses can take steps to protect their data by managing risks, reducing threats and minimizing harm.”

The OPP recommend that you are aware of unsolicited emails demanding personal information or immediate payment, use strong passwords that have capital and lower case letters, numbers and special symbols and change them regularly, use multi-factor authentication, back up critical files to an external drive, and keep your security systems updated.

Cox adds that that youth and children are exposed to the digital world early, which can add additional risks to their safety and well-being. Caregivers and parents are encouraged to talk about online behaviours, and give tips to their kids on how to stay safe online.

If you or someone you know suspects they have been targeted by digital or online cybercrime, contact your local police service or local OPP detachment, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or Crime Stoppers.

With files from James Wood