Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device, or a network.
Cyber criminals exploit human or security weaknesses to steal passwords, data or money. The most common cyber threats include:
- hacking – including social media and email passwords.
- phishing – fake emails asking for security information and personal details.
- malicious software – including ransomware where criminals steal files and hold them to ransom.
- Distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against websites – often accompanied by extortion.
How do I protect myself from cybercrime?
Most people use the internet with no problems, and most cyber-attacks can be prevented. Here are some of the tips to help you feel safe online and spot a scam:
- Choose strong passwords and don’t reuse them for multiple logins.
- Install security software such as anti-virus and two-factor authentication. This is often available for free.
- Keep all security software and operating systems updated (this can be set to update automatically).
- Make sure that your social media privacy settings are secure and up to date.
- Never give out your bank details. You will never be contacted by a bank or card issuer by email, asking you to enter all your personal and financial details.
- If you get an email from an unknown source, do not open it and do not click on any attachments.
Online Safety Bill
The Online Safety Bill is a new set of laws to protect children and adults online. It will make social media companies more responsible for their users’ safety on their platforms.
The Bill will make social media companies legally responsible for keeping children and young people safe online.
It will protect children by making social media platforms:
- Remove illegal content quickly or prevent it from appearing in the first place. This includes removing content promoting self-harm.
- Prevent children from accessing harmful and age-appropriate content.
- Enforce age limits and age-checking measures.
- Ensure the risks and dangers posed to children on the largest social media platforms are more transparent, including by publishing risk assessments.
- Provide parents and children with clear and accessible ways to report problems online when they do arise.
It will protect adults in three ways through a ‘triple shield’.
- Remove all illegal content.
- Remove content that is banned by their own terms and conditions.
- Empower adult internet users with tools so that they can tailor the type of content they see and can avoid potentially harmful content if they do not want to see it on their feeds. Children will be automatically prevented from seeing this content without having to change any settings.
More information on the Bill can be found here
Deterring young people from getting involved with cyber crime
More and more teenagers and young people are getting involved in cybercrime. Many do it for fun without realising the consequences of their actions – but the penalties can be severe.
Cybercrime is not a victimless crime – it is a serious criminal offence and the National Crime Agency (NCA) and police take cybercrime extremely seriously.
The NCA has launched a #CyberChoices campaign aimed at educating the parents of 12-15 year old boys, whose children may be involved in hacking or other kinds of cybercrime without their parents’ knowledge, through a short film.
For more information click here
More information and advice
If you are a victim of cybercrime please report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s fraud and cybercrime reporting centre.