ON Tuesday next week, (9 February), Safer Internet Day aims to inspire a kind, respectful and inclusive internet, helping raise awareness about the issues of online hate and crime.
Thurrock Council’s trading standards team says online crime – or “cybercrime” – is a growing threat and anyone can be a victim.
Research has shown the emotional cost of cybercrime, with half of victims having felt “very” or “extremely” violated by their ordeal and the fact over half the population has fallen victim, means everybody needs to take the threat seriously.
Thurrock trading standards team recommends people follow some simple and easy steps to reduce the chances of falling victim while also making life as difficult as possible for scammers and rogue traders:
Put a PIN on it: One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to put a strong PIN or password on a phone, tablet or any kind of online account. Never share your passwords with anyone.
Look for the padlock: When banking or shopping online check for the padlock symbol in the browser window and make sure the web address begins with ‘https://’. The “s” stands for “secure”.
Log-out and log-off: When you’ve finished with your online accounts always remember to log out and log off a computer.
If in doubt, don’t click: Never click on a link sent to you from someone you do not know.
Be software savvy: Protect all your devices with internet security (antivirus/antispyware) software and make sure you regularly install updates.
Report it: If you have been a victim of cyber-enabled economic fraud you should report it to Action Fraud, the country’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting actionfraud.police.uk. If you are a victim of online abuse or harassment, you should report it to your local police force.
Advice is also available on the council’s website at thurrock.gov.uk/internet-safety
More information about Safer Internet Day can be found at saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources.