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Nov 09

Scam Alert: Phishing Emails

Awareness , Tech

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a type of online attack that tries to retrieve your financial or confidential information. Usually one through email, text message, or online messages.

How does it work?

An email or message is sent to you from what looks like a bank or financial institution or even a stranger. And it will usually ask you to click on a link and enter your personal details.

It is important that you do not click onto any of the links on the email or message.

The point of a phishing attack is to gain access to your financial or confidential information.

How can I protect myself?

Vigilance is key, here are some ways to be safe and secure:

  1. Do not click on any link(s) in any email, text message, or direct message that requests you to do something to get something;
  2. Do not respond, mark it as spam and delete the content right away;
  3. Call your bank to double check your accounts; and
  4. Change your password(s) frequently and activate a two-step authentication option if available and not already done.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us or your nearest police post.

Aug 12

Pacific Law Enforcement Training

Conference , Social Media

Earlier this month, the OSC joined Fiji Police in a Cyber Safety Pasifika training.

The one day seminar was officially opened by Fiji Police Force Director SSP Serupepeli Neiko and helped participants understand the safety tools available for agencies to better cater for their respective citizens.

Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform and Fijians are no stranger to using the application daily. The platform helps us connect with family and friends around the world, communicate with loved ones about our daily activities and even share our thoughts on hot topics such as politics, education and more. The recent pandemic highlighted how technology, especially social media apps have become an integral part of our everyday lives.

It is important to be aware of simple security checks and privacy check up that you as a social media user can use to make sure that you are safe online. Although there is no 100% safeguard to the ills of being online, setting up important safety checks can help.

Some routine tips to keep in mind include:

  • Changing your passwords to your accounts and not sharing them with anyone;
  • Log off your social media account when you finish using is; and
  • Being cautious of adding friends or following people you may not know offline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Fiji Police Force

Jul 20

#Stopthespread of online bullying

Awareness , Social Media

The Online Safety Commission provides a space for all Fijians to resolve concerns and complaints about online abuse such as cyberbullying, internet trolling, and much more. In recent weeks we have seen a rise in vile online communication particularly with respect to hot topics that call for action regarding prominent sportsmen in the country.

Social media provides a platform for open discussion, checking in on family and friends, networking with fellow colleagues, and more. While disagreements may occur, most social media platforms have communication standards that call for conversations on the platform to not threaten another individual, not demean another online user based on their personal attributes including but not limited to sex, gender, age, or race and to respect the space and opportunity to share differing views.

Online bullying is bullying others using technology such as social platforms to harass, to threaten, or to harm another online user. It is important to be aware of how we interact online especially if we are not fully certain about who is actually behind another online account because unlike traditional bullying, online bullying can happen anywhere, at any time including the comfort of our own homes.

Researchers have found that young people who have experienced online bullying are at higher risk than those who don’t of self-harm and we, therefore, call for Fijians to help #stopthespread of online bullying by considering other before you like, share or comment on social media, speak up if you see someone on your newsfeed being harassed, and talk to your family and friends about how we can be responsible online users.

Apr 02

Be Safe Online During Covid-19

Awareness , Social Media

Be Safe Online During Covid-19

Now more than ever, most of us are staying connected online as a result of physical distancing from family, friends, colleagues and networks.

While the internet is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends, work from home, explore new online hobbies, or be entertained; it also has some risks.

Here are some tips for being safe online during covid-19:

  1. Be aware of who you are interacting with online;
  2. Maintain strong passwords and consider changing your password if you haven’t done so in the past three months;
  3. Stay alert for scams that may arise;
  4. Monitor your screen time so that you can also share quality time with those in your home; and
  5. Remember to verify any news about the virus, curfew hours or allowed activities during the lock down period with other notable sources such as WHO and the Ministry of Health.

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands thoroughly, stay at home and stay physically distanced.

Oct 10

World Mental Health Day

Awareness

October 10th is not just any regular day for Fiji. It is Fiji’s Independence Day. And this year we celebrate our 49th year of independence. This day is significant for all Fijians around the world. The noble banner blue is seen all around different cities and towns, lunch and dinner plans are extraordinary, celebrations are organized and the national anthem is sung with a different zeal.

October 10th is also significant for an entirely different reason, World Mental Health Day. The day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). It is commemorated by various organizations, institutions and countries around the world.

World mental health day is to celebrate awareness for the global community to help people feel hopeful and empowered. By using the hashtag #LetsTalk you can be a part of a global dialogue around mental health. This year the main theme for the day is “suicide prevention”. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. In light of this, World Mental Health Day 2019 involves communities working together to prevent suicide. WFMH writes that “It is often believed that it is only adults who exhibit suicidal behaviors, but it should be made known that many children and young people engage in this kind of behavior as a result of violence, sexual abuse, bullying and cyberbullying.”

Last year a new study in the United Kingdom found cyberbullying makes young people more than twice as likely to self harm or attempt suicide. Researchers found that cyberbullying raised the risk of self-harm or suicidal behaviour 2.3 times. According to Lifeline Fiji it is estimated that every 36 hours a Fijian attempts suicide.

These stark realities give us an opportunity to us October 10th as not only a day of celebration and pride but also one of intentional conversations and checking in on the mental health of those who we hold dear.

Happy Fiji Day! #LetsTalk

 

Oct 02

Pacific Online Safety Workshop

Conference , Social Media

Increased access to technology across our communities has given Fijians the opportunity to engage with online platforms such as social media more and more. With this, comes the reality of developing online safety habits that would help us build and cultivate a safe online culture for all Fijians.

Last month, the OSC along with delegates from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu attended an online safety workshop hosted by Australia’s Office of the eSafety Commissioner and New Zealand’s Netsafe NZ to glean from the expertise and experiences of our neighboring countries. The workshop included learning Australia’s approach to tackling online bullying, image based abuse and other prohibited content from representatives from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the Australian Federal Police and their Attorney-General’s Department.

With the support of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and their Cyber Cooperation Program, attending the workshop coincided with being an attendee at the 2019 eSafety Conference where global participants shared great insights into online safety practices and ways to look forward to develop the “online world we want”, as rightfully themed.

Credit: DFAT Australia

Photo Credit: DFAT Australia

 

 

Sep 27

FNU Online Safety Awareness

Awareness , Social Media

Recently, the Fiji National University (FNU)  and the Commission organized an awareness campaign around the country for online safety. Last month, the Commission took part in the campaign by speaking to students at different campuses about the Online Safety Commission.

The Commission visited FNU campuses in the central, western and eastern divisions. During the visitation students had the opportunity to discuss their concerns regarding online safety, learn more about the Commission and develop ideas around maintaining safe online behaviors among their peers.

The space provided students, staff and the OSC a change to engage in dialogue on different online trends they noticed on their campus. This included what some considered a rise in online bullying, the need for greater awareness on how to be safe online, developing context definitions of online abuse, positive use of online platforms.

The awareness program brought clarity to the role of the Commission and developed insight into how students from one of Fiji’s leading universities relate to online safety.

Jul 03

IDADAIT 2019

Awareness , Social Media

IDADAIT is the International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking. It is usually marked on the 26th of June as a day to bring awareness to such abuse. One of the ways Fiji participates in this global awareness is through the Substance Abuse Advisory Council of Fiji (SAAC) through the Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts.

In recent years, SAAC has expanded the scope of its week long program to include social topics such as domestic violence, healthy lifestyles, and internet safety.

This year, the Commission partnered with SAAC to raise awareness for online safety. The theme for IDADAIT 2019 was “Healthy child, Proactive family, Safer school, Better Fiji”. There was a program developed for schools to participate in each day of the week to address the different social topics. The program included assigning Thursday as the day for “Internet and Social Media Awareness”.

On the assigned day, the Commission and various stakeholders went to high schools around the central division to share insight on different ways students can be safe online. This included giving short speeches, making presentations and having one on one conversations with students and teachers.

The awareness program provided a space for the Commission to engage with students, talk about online safety and promote proactive steps towards creating a safer online community for all Fijians.

Jul 03

TOPEX 2019

Conference , Social Media

This year Fiji Commerce & Employers Federation (FCEF) hosted their annual Top Executives Conference from 26 to 27 July 2019. The theme of the conference was “transforming Fiji – the business perspective”. It was opened by the influential Minister for Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Industry, Trade and Tourism. The conference organizing committee invited speakers from various backgrounds to present on topics such as the new era of collaboration, advancing leaders vision for Fiji, equality, revolutionizing workplace practice and transformative social media.

The Commission was able to participate in the panel discussion about transformative social media. Panelists talked about how social media has shifted the power from institutions to the people, how it can affect the way businesses conduct their marketing strategies and also how social media should be a place for building communities rather than tearing them down.

The two day conference provided a space for executives to collaborate, innovate and network with other counter parts to inspire a dialogue of how businesses, state institutions, non governmental organizations, and civil society organizations can transform Fiji from the business perspective.

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