ORILLIA, ON- The OPP want you to stay safe on the Internet.

The provincial police out a list of tips on cyber-security today, as 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,” read the police news release.

“Cybercriminals extort money and personal data from unsuspecting victims by taking advantage of low cyber security awareness. Individuals and businesses can take steps to protect their data by managing risks, reducing threats and minimizing harm.”

They recommended the following steps for people to better protect themselves.

  • Beware of unsolicited emails demanding personal information or immediate payment;
  • Use strong passwords that include capital and lower case letters, numbers and special symbols and change them regularly;
  • Use multi-factor authentication for your social media accounts;
  • Back up critical files to an external drive; and,
  • Keep your security systems updated.

The OPP said 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 behaviors, 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 at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or p3tips.com.