Warwickshire County Council urges residents to ensure they’re safe online following recent attacks

Following the recent spate of cyber attacks, and with warnings of more to come, Warwickshire County Council is reminding Warwickshire residents of the importance of online safety.

The scale of the attack underlines how important it is that all internet users take steps to ensure they are safe online. In order to help encourage residents to protect themselves, the county council is re-publishing the top tips for staying safe online, first published in February this year:

Strong and unique passwords – Unique passwords are key. Residents are advised to use different passwords 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 the 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 or may encourage you 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 Fraud – Action 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.

David Carter, Joint Managing Director of Warwickshire County Council said:

“The recent attack on the NHS in this country and worldwide underlines the importance of everyone doing all they can to be safe whilst using the internet. It’s not just big organisations at risk, any device, be it a mobile phone, tablet or PC is vulnerable”

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