European Cyber Security Month 2020

European Cyber Security Month 2020

As this year’s Cyber Security month draws to an end, it’s important to reiterate why staying safe online is vital for our society and why cyber security is a responsibility to be shared by every single one of us.   Going back to our normal complacency means ignoring the risks which bring us cyber scams, cyber bullying, and other cyber threats.

First things first, it is vital to remember that Cyber Security concerns all of us! Our digital presence has grown exponentially – we use multiple email accounts daily, post on several social media sites, upload content, communicate with friends and family, conduct business, and ultimately consume the content others have created. The internet benefits and belongs to all of us, hence, it is our shared responsibility to protect it.

The year 2020 will remain in history as the year of the pandemic and rightly so since it has killed – and continues to kill – thousands of people every month. While we all isolated and stayed at home, trying to shield ourselves from the threat outside, we largely ignored the threat stemming from the escalating increase in internet usage. Studies have showed that cybercrime is up 600% due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More of us consume much more content during the pandemic, a fact that malicious actors take advantage of, mainly for financial gain.

Beyond the huge financial loss to businesses, which is in itself is a big motivation to take cyber security seriously, cybercrime has many other adverse effects on society. Malicious actors can bring about the disruption of digital services or other critical services which can have an impact on health and safety thus causing unrest among society. Monetary loss and identity theft, especially concerning vulnerable groups, like senior citizens, is a usual occurrence and can have psychological effects on the victims.  Studies have proved that cyber bullying and cyber stalking, two forms of online harassment, can cause anger, frustration and even depression.

Cyber criminals continuously upgrade their tools and methods to stay ahead of the law and it is thus our responsibility to protect ourselves by learning more about Cyber Security and to apply that knowledge to protect society, especially vulnerable groups like children and senior citizens.  Cyber Security affects us all and it is now more urgent than ever to collectively take action to curtail these threats.

Georgos Pratsos
CEO of New Horizons Cyprus
View the New Horizons Website Here

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