Warning The Public About Internet Crimes
In a news release, the Department of Justice (DoJ) issued an advisory warning the public of crimes that can be committed over the Internet. In its Advisory Opinion No. 5, the DoJ said that since it is not possible to conduct constant surveillance over the millions of simultaneous Internet users, the public is warned of Internet crimes that they should be aware of and guard themselves against. The advisory opinion stated that for law enforcers to be able to focus their attention and resources to Internet crimes of serious gravity, the public should do their part in preventing other Internet crimes that are within their power to detect.
The DoJ, in its advisory, issued ten (10) pointers that the public should observe when they go online in order to prevent victimized by cyber criminals. The pointers by the department are as follows:
- Parents have the responsibility to ensure that their children will not fall victims to Internet crimes.
- Be ever-cautious and vigilant with private information.
- Do not trust strangers you meet online.
- Never part with your money online unless absolutely certain of the legitimacy and integrity of the transaction.
- Be wary if an offer or advertisement seems too good to be true.
- Utilize blocking or filtering software to protect children from harmful content.
- Avail of free educational materials online that provide information on how to protect children from Internet crimes.
- Consider using debit cards instead of credit cards when making online purchases.
- Be circumspect in downloading and installing computer programs or even in clicking forwarded links.
- Help law enforcers curb Internet crimes.
The DoJ noted that there are already laws that provide punishment for various Internet crimes. In this regard, I wish to add that one of them is Republic Act No. 9775 – The Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 that mandates the blocking of child pornography by the Internet service providers among its many provisions that protect children against crimes committed against them in the world wide web. If properly implemented, the law should be an effective deterrent in the prevention of cybercrimes against our children.