The Malta Independent 19 December 2018, Wednesday

Preventing cybercrime starts with education – Miriam Dalli

Wednesday, 14 March 2018, 18:00 Last update: about 9 months ago

Educating internet users is the first step towards preventing citizens from falling victim to cybercrime, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli said.

She was addressing the European Parliament’s topical debate on international co-operation in the fight against cybercrime. 

“Digital technologies are an integral part of our daily life and they are the backbone of our economies. It is therefore crucial that the European Union continues to equip itself with strong cybersecurity legislation whilst investing in further research on how to protect citizens online,” Dalli said.


Cybercrime is a borderless problem, consisting of criminal acts that are committed online by using electronic communications networks and information systems.

Malta, like other member states of the European Union, is not immune to encounters with cybercrime and malicious programs. For this reason, Maltese laws deal with various aspects of cybersecurity, including through the Maltese Criminal Code, the Processing of Personal Data Regulations and the Electronic Communications Networks and Services Regulations.

Malta is also a signatory to the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention since 2001.

However, Dalli insisted, preventing cybercrime should not only concentrate on having the right infrastructure but should also be about education.

Dalli argued that this was also an opportunity to train young ICT experts who can combat this phenomenon and such crimes of the future. 

The MEP went on to add that cybersecurity is not about infrastructure alone: “It is also about educating users on the risks they will be facing in cyberspace. The matter is more urgent since a number of public services across the EU are now available online.”

“My message today to the European Commission and European Governments: it's not enough to arm yourself with "unhackable" infrastructure. Educate citizens to think, then click - not the other way around.”

A recent Eurobarometer survey found respondents to be more concerned about online transactions, with the two most common concerns being the misuse of personal data and the security of online payments.

According to figures quoted by MaltaToday, provided by the policeʾs cybercrime unit, the most common three types of cybercrime in Malta in 2016 were fraud, forgery and misappropriation, insults, threats and private violence and computer misuse. In total, 877 cases of online crimes were investigated, with fraud, forgery and misappropriation.

Dalli urged internet users to protect their identity at all costs whilst making sure to use safe passwords that are not easily identifiable.

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