IT specialist urges J’cans to get cyber awareness training

February 08, 2022

As the world celebrates Safer Internet Day today, local information technology expert Christopher Reckord is touting the importance of cybersecurity awareness training.

"Getting some sort of cybersecurity awareness training is one of the biggest and most positive things that people can do for safer Internet. Just getting an understanding of what is possible out there and when danger is coming, what does danger look like," he said. Reckord encouraged the use of multifactor authentication for sensitive accounts including for banking.

"So there is more than one way that the system authenticates that you are you and not just anyone can come because they know your email address they just log in to one of your private accounts," he said. "The other thing that comes to mind in terms of safe Internet use is be careful where you log in to the Internet. Lots of folks just walk into anywhere and they want to know the WiFi code. If you're going to do that just so you can check a WhatsApp message and so forth, that's okay. But don't do that and then go log into your bank."

The move towards safer Internet use includes combating cyberbullying and other cybercrimes as well as the means to protect children and other vulnerable groups from online predators. As part of Safe Internet Day, communications giants FLOW and Digicel will host a number of events and forums aimed at promoting the responsible use of online spaces.

Digicel Jamaica CEO, Jabbor Kayumov, said in a release "With many more of our young and vulnerable persons getting things done online, it is of critical importance for us to raise awareness and give them the tools to safely navigate the Internet while they contribute to making it a safer space for all."

Stephen Price, vice-president and general manager at FLOW Jamaica said "Internet safety is a core part of our digital inclusion drive and we are committed to promoting the safe, responsible, and positive use of digital technology by children, young people, parents, and our seniors via innovative and engaging virtual events. We encourage everyone to tune in and join the movement."

Industry insider and influencer Joel Nomdarkham said that safe Internet use "pretty much means operating within the confines of the Internet [in a way] that doesn't jeopardise or put your life at risk".

"Whether it is risking your location, risking information about your family, risking information about your children or children putting out too much information with the risk of predators getting at them," he said. Nomdarkham, who will be hosting one of FLOW's events, told THE STAR that it is important for Jamaicans to be vigilant online because of the number of cybercrimes that are being committed.

"Sometimes people use the Internet to get details about your whereabouts because you're posting and you're sharing intimate details about your life," he said. "There's so many things that play a role in just the need to be careful."

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