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Cyber crimes on the rise; Bahamians warned to protect banking info

With the potential for cyber harm constantly evolving, Bahamian consumers are being cautioned to be particularly attentive to their cyber activity in regards to their personal banking information.

In fact, the recently released 2019/2018 Global Security Index ranked The Bahamas 133 out of the nearly 200 member states assessed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and 22 in the region behind Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In speaking about financial literacy with Guardian Business, Clearing Banks Association (CBA) Chairman Gowon Bowe said when speaking of cyber security, persons often think of it only pertaining to cyberspace and not necessarily about the safety of doing banking online, and the actual verification procedures that that are in place to improve digital security.

“Even though we hear a number of things about cyber attacks it is talking about how you would protect yourself, in terms of protecting your personal identification numbers and passwords. We as a culture have a bad practice of giving someone our ATM cards and giving them our PIN to withdraw money, but not appreciating that the more you do things of that nature, the more you’re exposing yourself,” he said.

“Also protecting yourselves from phishing and other communications that come via email. If you know you haven’t played a lottery, getting a notice that you won a lottery should not be something you jump onboard with all of your banking details and others. So being more conscious and aware of your online patterns and behaviors to ensure you’re protecting your information.”

Cyber crimes are on the uptick in The Bahamas, with approximately 171 cases reported in 2017, up 80 percent from the 95 reported cases in 2016.

Earlier this month, the Public Hospitals Authority reported that its email system was interrupted due to a reported cyber attack.

Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News
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