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Safety advice

Follow our safety advice to prevent common scams and fraud.

Personal details

When browsing websites you may need to complete a registration form before you can use them. Whilst this procedure is usually standard, it is good practice to find out what the website will do with your personal details as some providers allow other companies to use the information for market research purposes.

If you do not wish to have your personal information used in this way there is often a tick box giving you the option to opt out.

It is a legal requirement for websites to explain how personal information will be used and this information can often be found in the terms and conditions page.

Social networking sites

Once you have shared something online you have lost control of it and it is possible for people to still to see things you have posted months or even years later. Some people may use what you have posted online in ways you do not like without you knowing, some people may share things about you which are upsetting.

If someone has upset, bullied or made you feel uncomfortable via social networking sites make sure you know who to contact and what the procedure is. Most social networking sites allow you to control who can see different parts of your profile. By doing this, it means that no-one will be able to find information from your profile even if they look for your name in a search engine.

If you feel offended by comments and media always keep a record of the content. All good social media sites will have the facilities for users to report offensive content. Before replying to a message or post, consider what you would say and the effect it may have.

For further safety guidance visit – https://www.getsafeonline.org/social-networking/

Online threats

Shopping online is now just as safe as ordering goods over the telephone, as long as you follow a few common sense rules: Make sure that the company website uses a secure shopping server. You can identify this by looking for a padlock icon at the bottom of your browser window, or seeing if the web address begins with ‘https:’

If you are shopping on a website which you have never heard of before, search their site for any contact numbers and postal addresses and follow up with a quick call to ask a few questions.

Do not send your bank details to anyone in an email as it is not a secure way of communication.

Never reply to an email which asks you for your financial details, even if the email looks official.

Remember to continuously change and use strong passwords which contain a mixture of letters, symbols and numbers.

Chat room safety

Never give out any personal information such as your address, phone number or name. No matter how long you have been chatting for it is important to remember that they are still strangers. Think carefully about meeting someone in the real world who you only know online.

Once you have finished, remember to log out properly, especially if you are using a shared computer.

Revenge Porn

Did you know that North Yorkshire Police was the first force in the country to successfully prosecute someone over revenge porn? It was made a specific offence in England and Wales in February 2015. Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing distress.

The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.

Those convicted will face a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The offence will apply both online and offline, and includes materials shared by text, email, uploaded to websites or by physical distribution.

If you have been affected by Revenge Porn, you can access the Revenge Porn Helpline.

Business Security

We encourage business owners to sign up with the Community Industry Sharing Platform (CISP). This is a cabinet office initiative which brings businesses together to share information on emerging cyber threats.

We have set up a regional CISP for Yorkshire and the Humber. Visit www.cert.gov.uk/cisp for more information.

Other sources of information