KINGSTON, Jamaica March 14, 2019 — Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Fayval Williams, recently called 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,” the Technology Minister said.
Williams was speaking at a public forum, organised 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.
She reveled other cybercrimes that persons commonly fall victim to: 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 over share. You will never know who is accessing your information,” she warned.
She urged persons to install the necessary safeguards, 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 programs, which require personal information,” Williams said.
The NCLJ has organised several activities to observe World Consumer Rights Day 2019, including two other public forums — today, 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’.