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Ukraine, a long-standing ally of Canada, is under attack from Russian forces in one of the biggest assaults by one European country against another since the Second World War. If you’d like to show support for those affected in Ukraine, below are some of the ways you can help.

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Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

Support a verified fundraising campaign for Ukraine

If you see a crowdfunding campaign promising help to Ukraine, check it out carefully to see whether it’s legitimate. Look for an association with a registered charity that will have the means to distribute funds, as well as verification in place. Here are some resources Canadian and Ukrainian organizations are sharing:

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Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Learn about online disinformation, and how not to spread it

Being skeptical of the things you see on social media is always a good practice, but especially when bad actors and their bot accounts spread disinformation on purpose, as Russia did during the past two U.S. presidential elections, and will no doubt continue alongside this invasion. Fake accounts might try to impersonate credible news sources or trick search engines into promoting bogus websites over real ones. For the clearest picture of what’s happening in Ukraine, The Globe and Mail has compiled a list of journalists to follow. In 2017, The Globe prepared a tutorial and quiz to help people learn how not to be fooled. It’s free to try.

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Illustration by Dado Ruvic/REuters

Protect your computer or mobile device against ransomware

Russia’s intelligence agencies have made a fine art of cyberwarfare over the years, and the computer systems of rival governments aren’t their only targets: Regular people and businesses can be victims too. One threat to avoid is ransomware, in which a hacker gains illicit access to a device or network, blocks access to files and threatens to keep them sealed unless a ransom is paid. What does this have to do with the conflict and helping people? Well, if a Russia-based outfit hacks one of your devices, paying them may make the forces attacking Ukraine a little richer. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security offers pointers on how to avoid this, such as:

  • Keep your operating system and software up-to-date.
  • Be careful with any suspicious e-mails or texts, especially if they ask you in an urgent tone to open a link or file attachment. These can be examples of phishing, a scam designed to make you download malicious software.
  • Make sure you have important files backed up offline, such as on an external hard drive or USB key.
  • Make sure you’re aware of the cybersecurity and privacy policies at your workplace, and follow their instructions about what to do in the event of a breach.

Canada and the Ukraine conflict: More from The Globe

In depth

Ukrainian-Canadians head to Ukraine to join fight against Russia

B.C. couple in Ukraine help orphans, other displaced people find safe accommodation

As Ukraine conflict rages, Russians in Canada fear guilt by association

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