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OPP warn about perils of phishing, ransomware attacks

As digital technology advances, the cyber realm becomes easier for criminals to exploit and extort victims; OPP offers tips, help
2019-09-30 OPP Cyber Operations Centre 5
Inside the OPP Cyber Operations Centre that recently opened in Orillia. OPP/Supplied photo
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) warn that cybercriminals continue to exploit human and technological vulnerabilities leading to billions of dollars lost to cybercrime every year.

As digital technology advances, the cyber realm becomes easier for criminals to exploit and extort victims. Two of the many types of cybercrime are phishing and ransomware. 

Phishing is a crime that targets victims by simulating a legitimate message from a bank, government department or some other organization, in an attempt to get confidential information that can be used for criminal purposes.

ransomware attack occurs when a cybercriminal infects a victim's computer systems with malware that encrypts the data on those systems making them inaccessible and unusable without a decryption key. Cybercriminals will then demand a ransom in exchange for the decryption key.

If you or someone you know suspects they have been a victim of phishing or ransomware, or any 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


Everyone has a part to play in understanding cyber threats and how to protect against them. For helpful tips and links, follow the OPP on Twitter (@OPP_News) and Facebook using the hashtag #CyberAware.

Get Cyber Safe is a national, multi-jurisdiction, public awareness campaign created to educate Canadians about Internet security and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online. Visit

Cyber Security Awareness Month toolkit (courtesy of Public Safety Canada)

Cyber Security Risks (courtesy of Public Safety Canada)