Windsor

Expert tips on how to keep online identity in Windsor safe after increase in fraud

Statistics Canada's release of 2018 police-reported crime statistics showed a 45 per cent increase in fraud in Windsor.

There were 160 incidents of cyber crime reported to police locally

Cybercriminals take advantage of open Wi-Fi networks to steal a user's personal information. (CBC)

Statistics Canada's release of 2018 police-reported crime statistics showed a 45 per cent increase in fraud in Windsor.

There were 160 incidents of cyber crime reported to police locally — roughly anything that uses a computer or data to commit crime. 

Mike Akpata, LaSalle town councillor and former Windsor police officer who specialized in fraud investigations said the concept of cyber crime is expanding to include anything from using smart vehicles to credit card thefts. 

Akpata works for Blackberry in their security department now and said perpetrators of fraud range from foreign entities to your average person on the street. 

"The mortgage to your house, the title to your car. All of that data is stored somewhere online," said Akpata, who thinks we aren't paying enough attention to cyber crime and fraud. 

Listen to Windsor Morning, where Mike Akpata spoke with the CBC's Tony Doucette about cyber crime on the rise in Windsor. 

"As we become more interconnected, as I look at the amount of time we spend online, we are too trusting," said Akpata.

According to Akpata, technology is moving too quickly to keep up or to keep ourselves safe, but there are still things the average person can do to protect their identity:

  • Keep your wifi networks password protected.
  • Check security settings and be aware of sites you're logging onto.
  • Keep a close watch on finances.
  • Read app and online form disclaimers.

"You are never alone if you've got your cellphone," said Akpata. "Whether it's a child game app tracking location or an app getting into your contacts, we are the ones letting it into our house."

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