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By taking a few simple security measures and thinking carefully about what information you are putting online, the chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime can be dramatically reduced.

Mobile devices, apps, and international computer gaming are now a part of everyday modern society.

Demand for quick time information, purchasing and instant online social activity is widespread across the globe – as is, unfortunately, the opportunity for cybercrime. More and more criminals are exploiting the speed, convenience and anonymity of the internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activity.

Cybercrime has many guises and much of it consists of traditional types of crime being committed – or partly committed – online, for example bullying and harassment, financial and identity fraud, sexual abuse and exploitation.

Security software

Familiarise yourselves with security software such as full security software packages which provide virus scans, firewall spam filtering and parental controls, plus anti-virus scanners and malware removal software which search your devices for infections and remove them.

Parental control

Parental controls are key in keeping your family safe online. They are available through your internet provider and are a quick and easy way of preventing children from accessing inappropriate sites on the internet. What is vitally important, however, is to talk to children and young people about their online activity. Whether it’s Facebook or Facetime, Snapchat or Skype, or online gaming and shopping, it is important you have basic knowledge of how these apps and sites work. This can help you to understand any potential threats and talk to your children about them.

It is not just children and young people who fall victim to online exploitation, many adults do too. North Yorkshire Police are receiving an increasing number of reports about individuals on dating sites who have been tricked to sending money to a potential partner, only to find out that person was in fact a criminal.

9 minutes, #3reasons

Usually, when you are a victim of cybercrime, you end up losing one of three things – your money, your information, or your dignity.

Are you aged between 11 and 16 years of age? If so, we want you to spend nine minutes of your time to make sure you’re safe online.

Watch the video below – and before you do anything online, think – will this threaten my safety or security?

Identity fraud

Identity fraud is also a significant threat to adults, with criminals piecing together personal and financial information from various websites and apps.

Make sure you check the validity of sites if you are purchasing items or booking holidays, never provide bank details via email if you are not one hundred percent sure of the receiver of your email, and always make sure you know who you are talking to online.

Cyber security course

The Open University through partnership with the UK Government have designed a free web-based cyber security course which can help you gain knowledge and skills to protect your digital life. The Introduction to Cyber Security course does not assume any prior knowledge of computer security and can be enjoyed by anyone interested in improving the security of their digital information.