The British Columbia government is inviting families, business owners and educators to consider their shared role in making the internet safer and more secure for everyone, especially children.
October is national Cyber Security Awareness Month, which invites British Columbia’s digital citizens to consider “our shared responsibility” to stay alert for the latest cyber security threats.
Approximately 70% of Canadians have experienced cyber-crime. While many people take steps to guard themselves, the types of threats are continually evolving. This is why it is important to take a moment and discuss online safeguards with friends, co-workers and familes – especially those with children.
Most cyber security threats can be avoided by taking simple steps. For example:
- Password-protect your wireless network
- Use up-to-date anti-virus software
- Install the latest operating system updates
- Back up your files
Just like families and businesses in this province, the B.C. government has a responsibility to protect and secure the data, information and computer systems in its care. This is why British Columbia regularly upgrades its digital security to increase protection for government users and protect our citizens’ personal information.
The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) and every government ministry has dedicated staff to monitor and respond to security issues. In fact, the OCIO is constantly evaluating potential threats – with systems monitoring 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
To help British Columbians stay cyber safe, the OCIO has prepared a free Cyber Security Awareness Month Quiz. To test your knowledge of data breaches and to get tips on improving the digital security of your home and workplace, click here: http://www.gov.bc.ca/informationsecurityawareness
Online crimes affect everyone. By taking steps to guard their information, British Columbians can also help to reduce online risks for their neighbours.
Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services –
“One of the greatest assets we have to ensure British Columbians stay safe online is our neighbours. By taking the time to learn how to keep our own families safe online, we can help reduce online risks for our friends and colleagues. This is why protection of government data and networks is a top priority for government – especially where it concerns British Columbians’ personal information.”
- Many Canadians protect their computers from online threats, but only 50% know of the risks to their other connected devices.
- Every minute, 232 computers around the world are infected by malware.
- Roughly 156 million phishing emails are sent globally every day – and 800,000 links are clicked.
- 9% of online Canadians have replied to spam mail unknowingly, and 3% have entered bank details on a site they don’t know – that’s more than one million Canadians.
- Cyber-crimes cost smaller business about $1,088 and larger businesses about $284 per person each year.
- Government of B.C. cyber security awareness website: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/services-for-government/information-management-technology/information-security/information-security-awareness/cyber-security-awareness-month
- 10 simple steps for staying safe online, from the Government of Canada: https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/sfttps/tp201010-en.aspx
- Cyber Security Awareness Month Toolkit from Public Safety Canada: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/csam-tlkt-en.aspx
- Tips and advice on staying safe online from the National Cyber Security Alliance: https://staysafeonline.org/
- Stop-think-connect is a global online safety education initiative with tips and tools: https://staysafeonline.org/stop-think-connect/
Joanne WhittierCommunications Manager
Ministry of Citizens’ Services