Don't give cyber criminals a chance to hurt you, be prepared.

Cyber Crime defined by Google is: criminal activities carried out by the use of a computer and/or internet.

What could these cyber crimes be, and why are they important to you?

Example 1: Maybe you're on a website and a pop-up window appears saying 'you need an update for this program!' That's a cyber crime. Computer program updates are typically taken care of when you restart your computer and are prompted to install secured updates.

Len Denbrok, a tech expert, explains this pop-up could be malware, "They [cyber criminals] rely on two things. One, that you don't know anything. And two, you're not going to read anything. During the installation of this fake program, it'll say you're installing something, but along the way it will also say that you've agreed to install X amount of malware."

Example 2: You're reading your email and notice your "bank" has helpfully emailed you that your online banking password needs to be reset. This email features a convenient link to reset said password. That's a cyber crime. Your bank will never send you an email with a link to log into your account.

Staff Sergeant Kevin Charles of the Drumheller RCMP explains.

"The potential for cyber crime is there to rear its ugly head in the Valley. You might get an email or phone call saying, 'we need to repair your computer'. Anytime anyone asks you for your personal information and/or money, that should be a red flag."

Denbrok elaborates on a way to keep these emails out of your inbox, "if you right-click on any email, there's a spam option where you can put it in your spam folder. Hopefully, your email provider will put it [future emails] in that spam folder."

Each of these examples of cyber crime can impact you by stealing sensitive information that only you should know.

Denbrok gives another look into the skills cyber criminals have.

"So you're at your computer typing all your information into your banking site, [and] on their end, they can see the screen, and they can see the keyboard pop-up and see all the keys you're pushing. So here, they're getting your password to your favourite banking site."

Charles concludes, saying "if you are a victim of fraud or any crime like that, by all means, you need to report that to police. There is also useful information at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center. They provide a lot of information, updates and links regarding scams and frauds."

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