There is a clear change in the Internet usage of the local community with the pandemic situation of Covid-19. During the past 4 months due to the shutdown of schools and workplaces, majority attempted to work via online platforms and launched online learning and working practices, conducted businesses and accessed news, information and entertainment through websites and social media.
As there are many internet users at present it is very important to raise awareness of cyber security as well, since there is an increase in cybercrimes, cyber bullying etc. Cyber security should be self-practiced while being aware of legal actions that could be taken against violations. Sri Lanka Computer Readiness Team (CERT) is already in service to address threats in cyberspace.
The CERT is an institution established under the Ministry of Defense to be contacted to counteract cyber security problems of the general public. Under the ‘Act of Right to Information’, we requested information regarding cyber security issues which were reported to the Sri Lanka CERT institute within the period from 2019 to 2020.
The information we obtained accordingly, reflects that the cybercrime cases reported during the 7 months period from January 2020 to 15th July 2020 have surpassed the number of reported cases in 2019. It is an increase of 110.24% compared to the previous year. The cybercrime complaints regarding social media is reported the highest among all complaints.
By July 2020, the total number of cybercrime cases reported regarding social media for the year 2019 has been increased by 63.07% to a total of s 4,547 cases. According to the information given by the CERT institute, there have also been increased monetary and e-mail scams by a percentage of 80.9%. Although the report shows that there are no crimes strictly falling under the cyber-crime category, some of the recognized cases have been recorded in a minus percentage. This development in cybercrime percentage warns the public that they should be attentive of cyber security.
The important point is that the documented cases in Sri Lanka CERT institute are only the reported cases. Whenever you are threatened in your cyberspace it is always best that you seek advice and help from an official buy like this.