“As advances in technology reach every facet of our lives, we are all increasingly susceptible to Internet-related risk. My presentations have evolved over many years to the point where the main goal is to build awareness and generate discussion about cyber security and online safety. I hope that my talks will inspire my audience to be proactive at all times, on every device and on every platform. At the same time, I want users to become Confident in their own ability to make safe choices and better informed decisions when on the Internet.” - Kathy Macdonald

Kathy Macdonald

Cyber Security, Online Safety and Fraud Prevention Expert

Kathy Macdonald began her career as a police officer in 1988 working the streets as a beat cop in Calgary, Alberta. With the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, Kathy recognized early on that crime and policing would be changed forever, and she set out to learn everything she could about cyber security. She Calgary Police Service cyber awareness coordinator and media spokesperson for over 12 years. Kathy has conducted hundreds of interviews, offered safety advice and commentary on technology and cybercrime.

Kathy Macdonald’s a passion for cybercrime prevention inspires audiences to become better informed about the Internet and better armed against the pitfalls. She shares her wisdom from her police officer experience. Her engaging presentations show why you need to be diligent and skeptical online.

As a professional speaker, author, consultant and university instructor, Kathy Macdonald brings a depth of investigative experience and a great passion for cyber security awareness to audiences. Kathy has seen firsthand the devastating and long-term damage cybercrime produces during her experience as a former police officer. Kathy’s knowledge of cybercrime prevention has led to a national award as well as global speaking engagements with law enforcement, the corporate sector, security groups, government and academia. The information she shares in her speeches and upcoming book serves to advance national cybercrime strategies or what she refers to as ‘predatory Cybercrime’.

As a keynote speaker Kathy Macdonald shares her deep industry knowledge and experience to dramatically increase cyber awareness and cyber security with corporations and associations. In 2009, Kathy was honoured when the Governor General of Canada Invested her with the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (M.O.M.), an award recognizing service and commitment to the community. Kathy strongly supports Stop. Think. Connect., a global messaging convention that unifies the response to cybercrime to millions of people worldwide.

Kathy Macdonald’s academic credentials are impressive. She holds a Masters of Security Risk Management with Merit (MSc.) from the University of Leicester, is a Certified Protection Professional (C.P.P.) from ASIS International, achieved a Security Management Certificate and General Management Certificate from the University of Calgary, and holds a Senior Police Management Certificate (SPAC). Kathy has successfully completed a many courses and specialized training on topics including media relations, business leadership, open source intelligence gathering and fraud investigations.

Kathy Macdonald’s Awards: 

  • The Governor General Award, Member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces (M.O.M.)
  • Long Service Award – Calgary Police Service
  • Alberta Centennial Medal – Government of Alberta
  • Police and Private Security Liaison Award – ASIS International
  • Leadership Award for the World Police/Fire Games – Calgary Chief of Police.

Topic Presentations

The more you know about – predatory cybercrime -, the better decisions you can make. With dedication and commitment, Kathy goes to great lengths to provide — cutting-edge information in her riveting keynote that guarantees you will become bulletproof – online. 

In this engaging and critical segment, Kathy provides insight into the criminal element of the Internet, including the use of bitcoin and social engineering techniques. In this discussion, Kathy focuses on the Dark Web, where personally identifying information is a commodity and individuals and groups can hide online from governments and law enforcement agencies in order to buy, sell and trade illegal and dangerous products.

She warns about phishing and spearphishing, common social engineering techniques that solicit personal information from unsuspecting users, target specific organizations and seek to obtain unauthorized access to confidential data.

In this segment, Kathy explains that these crimes are very difficult to detect and prosecute because they are transnational, and exacerbated by the lack of police resources, inadequate laws, and jurisdictional issues. Moreover, the continuous evolution of computer technologies make it almost impossible for the police to detect and prosecute cybercrime. Kathy offers practical advice and actionable steps for non-technical computer users to prevent and reduce online risk, and stresses the importance of being proactive, aware and vigilant on the Internet.

As Internet use has increased, so has cybercrime, cyber-conflict, cyber-risk and cyberbullying. The global community, and law enforcement face an uphill battle with regard to cyberbullying, as these incidents are multi-faceted and typically involve young people who have been exposed to this crime through websites, apps, computers and the use of mobile devices. These incidents can be emotionally devastating to the target and the harmful effects can be repeated over and over for an extended period. As seen all too often in Canada and elsewhere, repeated cyberbullying can lead to depression and suicide.

Kathy discusses cyberbullying from an awareness standpoint, and explains how to deny, deter, detect and delay opportunities for online abuse and bullying. She teaches adults, teachers, social workers, law enforcement officers, parents and youth how to recognize the signs of cyberbullying and what steps to take if someone is being targeted by a cyberbully. Kathy outlines the steps one needs to take to prevent this growing problem, because prevention is the best way to these crimes.

In the world of high stakes – cybercrime, those in business have the MOST to lose. Defences are required NOW, to protect intellectual property and secure organizations and business owners from organized criminal rings that are stealing critical data and confidential information to gain an advantage. This riveting keynote shows you the underbelly of cybercrime.

Why social engineering works in the scam and con game and how can we identify those expert emotions that keep getting us into trouble.

One of the fastest growing global criminal enterprises is human trafficking which takes a huge toll – on – society. The Internet and – the “Dark Web” enables this modern-day -exploitation of children to flourish. Education and awareness are critical. Kathy will open your eyes about this horrific crime… likely happening in your town or city.

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