WITH GET Safe Online Week booting up this week, West Mercia Police are reminding Redditch residents to stay cyber smart and protect themselves online.
Running all week from Monday (October 19), the scheme offers an opportunity for people and business owners to find out about the simple steps they can take to protect themselves against falling victim to online crime.
DCI Sean Paley, from Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police specialist operations unit, said: “Traditional crime categories – such as violence and robbery – have seen a steady decrease in recent years but cyber crime continues to rise.
“However, an understanding of the scams to look out for and knowing the simple preventative measures that can be put in place really can reduce the chances of falling victim.”
With research showing that many losses are preventable, DCI Paley urges users to update software and use anti-virus systems, both of which can prevent people falling victim.
He added installing the latest security software to computers is very important to enable safe shopping and banking online.
“Basic information risk management can prevent around 80 per cent of cyber attacks suffered by businesses.”
Tony Neate, chief executive officer of Get Safe Online, described all cyber crime as ‘personal’.
He added how this year’s event aims to show how sophisticated cyber criminals have become, and how now more than ever, they are using as much information about people as they can to make attacks more targeted, and consequently much harder to spot.
Computer users are advised to use strong passwords on all devices and to be careful when using links or opening emails from strangers.
Similarly, online shoppers should always check for the padlock symbol when buying online to know the site is secure.
He added: “Trust your instinct – if something feels suspicious, it probably is.”
Victims of fraud or anyone suspecting they may have fallen victim, should contact Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or call 0300 123 2040.
Visit www.getsafeonline.org for more information on how to stay safe online and www.cyberstreetwise.com for tips for businesses and home computer users from the Home Office’s Cyber Streetwise campaign.