Safer Internet Day 2017: Cyber Safe Warwickshire’s top tips for internet safety

Warwickshire County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are reminding Warwickshire residents the importance of online safety as part of Safer Internet Day 2017.

Today, Tuesday 7 February, is Safer Internet Day, which sees organisations around the country come together to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for everyone. As part of this celebration, Warwickshire County Council’s Cyber Safe Warwickshire and the Office of Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner are sharing with residents their top tips for staying safe online.

  • Strong and Unique Passwords – Unique passwords are key. Residents are advised to use the same password for all their online accounts, that way if one account is compromised the others should remain secure. Ensure all passwords are strong.
  • Be safe on all devices – it’s not just desktop and laptop computers at risk, all devices that connect to the internet, including mobile phones and tablets, need protection.
  • Antivirus Protection – Install anti-virus software and update regularly across all devices. Doing this reduces the risk of becoming a victim to a virus-based attack.
  • Update, Update, Update – Updating device software as soon as it asks reduces your risk of becoming victim of a hack.
  • Always check for https – Check the security of a website when entering personal details – a green padlock symbol and ‘https’ within the address bar shows that it is secure.
  • Beware of links and attachments in emails – Links and attachments in unsolicited emails may contain viruses, or encourage to give away confidential information to criminals.
  • Be social media savvy – Update privacy settings, don’t accept ‘friends’ you don’t know, and be aware of how much information is online about you.
  • Report it to Action FraudAction Fraud can help with any kind of scams, fraud or virus attack. Phone: 0300 123 2040 to report
  • On Social Media – report directly to social media websites where any issues take place.
  • Threats of Harm – It is important to report threats of physical harm to the police.

In addition to these top tips for online safety, Cyber Safe Warwickshire has also launched an e-learning module to residents to help them think about their online safety. This can be found here: safeinwarwickshire.com/elearning

Phillip Seccombe, Warwickshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

“Tackling cyber crime is a key element of my Police and Crime Plan for Warwickshire, which involves not only work by the police to target and catch the criminals responsible, but also helping educate the public in the best ways in which they can help themselves avoid falling victim. It’s estimated that as much as 80 percent of all cyber crime can be cut out just by taking simple security precautions, so I urge everyone to follow our top tips to stay safe online. ”

Councillor John Horner, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said:

“The internet is a rich source of entertainment and knowledge that plays an important role in most people’s daily lives so it is vital that we ensure all our residents have the tools that they need to make the most of online resources but also navigate the internet in safety.”

Cllr Philip Johnson, Chair of the Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added:

“It’s clear from Warwickshire’s first annual cyber crime survey that online crime and internet fraud are booming and, in Warwickshire, we have already invested in a range of activities to tackle this. As part of safer internet day, we hope to raise awareness of the issues so that people can take practical steps to avoid becoming a victim.”

More information about safer internet day 2017 is available on the UK Safer Internet Centre Website: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2017/about-safer-internet-day

If you want the latest news on online scams and hack attacks, follow @safeinwarwickshire on Twitter and like them on Facebook.