APAV and cybersecurity company Kaspersky have join forces to fight digital harassment, whose victims are mainly women. Kaspersky will be supporting APAV on the fields of violation of digital privacy and stalkerware, through prevention and by raising awareness to the theme, as well as by conducting studies and providing technical counselling on how to react in risk situations.
What is stalkerware? Imagine texting via WhatsApp. Googling. Looking an address up on GPS. You conduct these activities naturally on your smatphone with no idea that someone is silently monitoring every single move you make. Stalkerware consists of spyware apps installed in devices without the consent or awareness of the user.
Kaspersky’s analysis reveals that the number of victims of this online harassment practice has increased around 67% worldwide, going from 40.386 to 67.500 between 2018 e 2019. In Portugal, the numbers have gone from 96 to 189, which corresponds to an increase of 97% in the same period.
Ricardo Estrela, APAV’s Internet Safe Line manager, states that “stalkware deserves our attention. Not only because it is a form of cybercrime, but also because there is a high chance that these victims have also suffered, or are currently suffering, some type of physical or psychological violence at the hands of their partner. It is necessary to raise awareness to this problem in order to facilitate its identification and ways to act. Many of the victims do not know how their aggressors have access to so much personal information, which a lot of the time stops them from reporting these situations by lack of proof”.
APAV’s Safe Internet Line supports cyberstalking victims for free and confidentially - 800 219 090. This service not only gives users advice on safe internet practices, but also facilitates the report of illegal content available online. In 2019, Sfe Internet Line registered 7 crimes related to illegitimate access, 3 of which were stalkerware.
APAV spreads the Criminal Police warning about cyber threats in the context of the COVID-19 public health crisis. In international crisis scenarios, cybercriminals traditionally take advantage of the social alarmism and media attention provoked by the situation for their cyber-attacks.
The current pandemic, due to the spreading of virus COVID-19, is no exception. In fact, a high number of cybercriminals are using the theme as cover up for their attacks. Since february, different types of cyber attacks have been registered:
-Phishing (by email, SMS or social media) by pretending to have a connection to official organizations such as World Health Organization, UNICEF or health investigation centers and laboratories, leading people to share personal information or to open files which instead of COVID-19 related information download malware;
-Promotion of digital plataforms or apps that supposedly provide real time information about the pandemic, but which are aimed, in reality, to download malware, including ransomware;
-Digital fraud scams shared by email or in social media which promote crowdsourcing in order to collect funds for false campaigns to buy medical and self-protection material;
-SMS informing that, according to the law, extraordinary measures are being applied and that all national citizens will be vaccinated and that, in order to later receive reimbursement of expenses, people should pay the amount defined in the SMS;
Given these situations, people are advised to take extreme caution concerning digital contents related to COVID-19, and to prioritize official and reliable sources of information.
Is the European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Terrorism, On this date, in 2004, took place the terrible attacks on the train station of Atocha, in Madrid, that cause 193 deaths and left over 2000 people injured. Along with the attacks in New York, in 2001, and in London, in 2005, terrorism has become a constant notion worldwide.
Nowadays, because of the Middle East political situation and the refugees crisis, Europe is stage of violence and extremist rhetoric by religious, nationalist and identity movements. We witness this radicalization in different sectors of society, which leads to an ever-growing polarization of the differences between “we” and “the others”.
European Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Terrorism aims to keep the memory of those who were killed by these radical causes alive, making their “voices”, as well as their families’ and friends’, heard. This is part of the process of recovery and humanizes the victims. It reminds us that the attacks were not directed at specific sector of society, but against real people: wives, parents, partners and friends. People with names, faces and life stories suddenly interrupted.
Since 2016, APAV has been supporting victims and families and friends of victims of terrorist attacks abroad through the specialized network Support for Family Members and Friends of Homicide and Terrorism Victims (RAFAVHVT). APAV also works on preventing and fighting radicalization. This year, Project Counter@ct, promoted by APAV, will launch a campaign of positive narratives of integration of young refugees.
We must not forget the terrorist attacks victims, but we should keep in mind that not only those directly affected but all of us, as a society, no matter the race, nationality, sexual orientation or gender, are victims of terrorism. Celebrating this day is also celebrating the diversity that makes us European citizens.
The 17th edition of APAV’s solidarity race will happen on the 23rd May, at 18:00, in Lisbon, the point of both departure and arrival being Praça do Império, in Belém.
Besides the race of 10km, there will also take place the traditional Families’ March (5km) as well as the Kids Race.
As usual, the registration fees will be donated to APAV.
Thirty years ago, the first steps were taken towards the creation of what is currently considered a national reference organization in support of victims of crime in Portugal. In a context of awareness of the rights of the victim of crime and with the aim of addressing the lack of any support structure for this, was born APAV - Portuguese Association for Victim Support.
This year 2020, APAV celebrates 30 years of existence. Over three decades, the institution has transformed challenges into opportunities, charted a path of effort and perseverance, established itself as an active voice in society contributing to its balance and pacification and has become more agile and responsible in building a Portuguese society. fairer and more democratic society.
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