Cumbria Police launch a week-long campaign today (10th February) to highlight the issue of cybercrime.
Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day and Cumbria Police are using the opportunity to encourage people to take simple steps to stay safe online.
Cybercrime is not necessarily a new type of crime, it is often simply traditional crimes such as harassment, sexual exploitation or fraud committed using a different method via the internet. Since 2011 there have been 152 reports of crime to Cumbria Police which in some way relate to Facebook or Twitter, as an example.
However, there are some new emerging threats in the form of denial of service attacks and hacking, which particularly impact on small to medium sized businesses in our communities, and it is accepted nationally that cybercrime is under-reported.
Detective Superintendent Andy Slattery explains:
“In this digital age we live in it is becoming increasingly important that people understand how to keep themselves safe on the internet. This week we aim to give people straightforward advice and guidance to protect themselves, their families and their businesses from internet crime.”
“Without taking simple precautions people can put themselves at risk of fraud, exploitation and other serious crimes. The internet and social media are a key part of everyday life – however it is important to remember that safety in the ‘online world’ is now just as important as safety in the ‘real world’.
“Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to some of the dangers of the internet. Sexual exploitation and cyberbullying are increasing concerns and I hope this campaign will encourage both parents and young people to make sure they are internet-savvy.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes, in welcoming the initiative said:
“At a time when the internet is playing a central role in peoples’ day-to-day lives, it is essential that we all take the necessary precautions to help keep ourselves safe from this type of crime. I would urge people to take heed of the Constabulary’s safety messages and advice.”
The campaign will focus on three key areas:
Tuesday – Social media
Wednesday – Risks for children and young people online
Thursday – Online fraud
Safety messages and advice will be sent out via the Cumbria Police Twitter and Facebook channels.
For more information about staying safe online please visit www.cumbria.police.uk/onlinesafety
More internet safety advice can be found on the Government’s ‘Cyberstreet’ website: www.cyberstreetwise.com