In December 2016, cabinet gave the green light for a Cybercrimes and Cybersecurity Bill that has sparked criticism over its potential to curb a free internet. Cabinet said the bill is about, “combatting cybercrime, establishing capacity to deal with cybersecurity and protecting critical information infrastructures”.
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime takes many different forms, such as using financial information to commit an offence, unlawful interception of data, computer related forgery, extortion, terrorist activity and the distribution of ‘harmful’ data messages.
Hackers can get access to your computer by simply sending you an e-mail that automatically causes malware software to download as you open the mail. The hacker then has full access to your computer and the data in it and can lock you out. So, what should you do if you have been a victim of cybercrime?
1. Disconnect: If you’re a victim of a hack, then you should disconnect from the Internet immediately. If you’re connected via Wi-Fi, phone or Ethernet cable, you need to disable the connection as soon as possible.
2. Scan your PC: It’s a good idea to have antivirus software to scan your computer.
3. Create a backup: Create regular backups of your files and folders.
4. Reinstall your operating system: Depending on the severity of the attack, it might be necessary to reinstall the operating system of your computer.
If you’ve been a victim of online fraud, such as your credit card information being stolen, then try the following:
1. Close all accounts: If you find that you are the victim of online fraud or identity theft, the first thing you should do is close all affected accounts immediately.
2. Contact your bank: By contacting your bank, you can notify them regarding the fraud and its source. They can also assist you in recovering any stolen finances and issuing new cards.
The new Cyber and Security Bill creates about 50 new offences for crimes such as hacking, using financial information to commit an offence, unlawful interception of data, computer related forgery, extortion, terrorist activity and distribution of ‘harmful’ data messages. Hopefully, this will help curb the growth of illicit online activities.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. (E&OE)