Last year the BBC reported that people in the UK lost more than £190,000 a day as a result of cyber-crime.
Police statistics show that 13,357 people in the UK reported cyber crimes over six months. Many had their social media and email accounts hacked.
Tips for staying safe online
A big part of staying safe online is to properly evaluate what you are looking at when you’re online.
This set of questions may help you to do this:
- Is this website/URL/email fake? How can I tell?
- What does this cookie do and what information am I sharing?
- Is this person who they say they are?
- Why does someone want me to see this?
- Why does someone want me to send this?
- Why would someone want me to believe this?
- Why does this person want my personal information?
- What’s behind this post?
- Is this too good to be true?
- Is this fact or opinion?
If you are not sure of an email or text you should not click on any links within it, reply, or give out your personal information.
You can do a search online using the exact words in the text or email that you are not sure of in order to see if this is a known scam.
Advice from Gov.uk
The official UK Government website has advice on how to avoid and report internet scams and phishing.
You can report a misleading website, email or phone number to:
- National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)
- Action Fraud
- Google if it appears as an advert in their search results
- Bing if it appears as an advert in their search results
In a nutshell…
Do not give out private information (such as bank details or passwords), reply to text messages, download attachments or click on any links in emails if you’re not sure they’re genuine.