Most calls to internet helpline were cybercrime incidents

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Almost 1 in 2 valid requests received by the cybersafety helpline during the last three months were related to hacking, fraud and online bullying.

Most reasons for contacting the helpline were related to cybercrime incidents (47.2%), i.e. dealing with breach of privacy (hacking) and financial fraud.

An increased number of reports between April and June concerned the interception of codes and illegal access to Social Media.

Callers reported receiving messages from profiles belonging to their group of online friends urging them to either invest in various cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin) by clicking on links to websites where they would have to fill out their social media account login details or participate in contests, with malicious content that allowed third parties to gain access to their accounts.

A large number of calls related to issues falling under the digital literacy/education category (13%).

At the same time, a significant number of calls concerned the protection of personal data (12.3%) and incidents of online bullying (11.8%).

Some incidents concerned sexual harassment (3.8%) (sending or sharing unsolicited content and comments, impersonating people to damage their reputation through sexual harassment), and incidents which involved sexual extortion (2.8%).

According to the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, in April, 597 people contacted the 1480 Helpline — 173 calls (29%) were unrelated requests for information about the pandemic and relevant benefits by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance.

Of the 424 incidents relevant to the helpline services, 37.7% (160 people) were boys/men, and 62.3% (264 people) were girls/women.

The majority of people who called for help and support, 96.5%, were adults (409 people).

Only 15 people from 424 callers, i.e. 3.5%, were minors (under 18 years) who used the 1480 Helpline to report personal difficulties on the Internet.

People can contact the Helpline 1480 by calling, free of charge, from Monday to Friday, between 09.00 – 13.00 & 15.00 – 18.00, and Saturday from 10.00 – 13.00, or by sending an email to [email protected]

And via an electronic form (https://www.cybersafety.cy/helpline-report) or via chat (https://www .cybersafety.cy/helpline-chat).