Victims of cybercrime must be better informed on methods of protection - Miriam Dalli

The Labour MEP stressed the need for people learning to protect themselves against negative consequences, including reputational damage

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli has underscored the need for the impowerment of victims of online abuse
Labour MEP Miriam Dalli has underscored the need for the impowerment of victims of online abuse

Victims of online abuse and cybercrime must be empowered and well-informed about how to protect themselves against further negatives consequences of such crime, including reputaitonal damange, according to Labour MEP Miriam Dalli.

Addressing a conference on supporting victims of cybercrime by the Brussels-based Victim Support Europe, Dalli emphasised the need for access to information.

“Victims need to be given access to information about how to make a complaint, how to proceed, what their rights are, how to stand up for their rights in cases where the competent authorities might not live up to their expectations, who to speak to, what to expect and how to make sure that they can proceed against the perpetrator of a crime whilst ensuring that they protect themselves from further damage,” she said.

Dalli made her remarks while addressing a conference on supporting victims of Cybercrime organised by the Brussels-based Victim Support Europe. In the past Dalli has actively worked on issues related to online child abuse, and the implementation of the directive combating child sexual abuse online, at the European Parliamnet.

The MEP argued that governments needed to ensure that justice with the victims of cybercrime was done and was also seen to be done. Moreover, she stressed the need for the general public to be equipped with the right tools and information in order to protect itself from cyber-risk.

She urged users to be more careful when posting online, as personal data may be shared without users necessarily understanding the ramifications and consequences involved.

By way of example, Dalli said that parents posting pictures of their children online may not realise that they are revealing key information such as which schools they attend and even what time they enter or leave school.

“We lock up our homes every day because that is where we hold our physical possessions. And yet we don’t give our online possessions - our personal data, our financial data the same protection,” she said.

Dalli went on to add that governments and authorities have a duty to protect their citizens in the online world as well.

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