This was the general consensus by over 110 people who attended the Cybercrime and Computer Security Seminars held at the Conrad Hotel and Tavira Municipal Library on 24th and 30th September respectively.
The events organized by Safe Communities Algarve, included presentations by inspector Ricardo Valadas of the Judicial Police and Jim Litchko, a Computer Security Analyst from the USA. Inspector Valadas outlined the threats posed through the internet and social media, including how in a matter of minutes cyber criminals can develop a profile of social media users. He also outlined the dangers to youngsters particularly in the use of Facebook and Twitter.
Jim Litchko then gave a presentation showing how by taking simple cost free measures users can minimize the risk of viruses, malware infections and phishing attacks. Both presentations were based on considerable practical experience and were lively and engaging.
At the Tavira seminar the Mayor of Tavira, Senor Jorge Botelho gave a welcoming address thanking Safe Communities Algarve for organizing the event in Tavira and stating the value this type of gathering is for residents and businesses. He hoped that those attending would adopt the measures being recommended.
Apart from local residents and representatives from various businesses, the events were attended by a number of government officials from the law enforcement agencies, namely; the GNR, PSP and SEF. The diversity of those attending proved of great value during question time. Coronel Silva Gomes Commander GNR Faro District (covering the Algarve) attended the Conrad seminar.
Participants felt that these seminars were not only interesting but of great value A lady from Loulé said. “the presenters opened my eyes to the potentially unsafe aspects that hadn’t occurred to me, in a very helpful way”. Another remarked: “at the beginning of the seminar we were told we would at least learn three new things – I think I learned 30 - I just feel sorry for those who did not attend.”
Perhaps it is best summed up however from a participant from Guia who said: “This is the sort of event everyone in the Algarve should attend before getting their hands on a computer and using the internet; after all you would not drive a car without first learning of the dangers posed by others on the road.”
As a result of the success of these two, more are now planned, the next being in the western Algarve. This will be announced through the Safe Communities Algarve website www.safecommunitiesalgarve.com, its newsletter and media in due course.