Surrey and Sussex Police are backing Safer Internet Day by reminding web users to protect themselves.
There are two joint units within the Forces which tackle online offending – the Cyber Crime Unit (CCU) and the Paedophile On-line Investigation Team (POLIT).
They are offering the following advice as part of the global day of action, which is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre.
– Use strong, memorable passwords
– Install anti-virus software on new devices
– Check privacy settings on social media
– Shop safely online – always check online retail sites are secure
– Download software and application patches when prompted.
– Never meet an online ‘friend ‘in person
– Do not give out personal information
– If you’re being bullied online – tell someone before it escalates
– Do not upload or share provocative photos – once online it is out of your hands
For more advice and to report online crime visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.
For more about online safety you can also visit www.thinkyouknow.co.uk.
DI Andy Haslam (CCU) said:
“By taking some very basic and simple steps you will dramatically reduce the risk to yourself if you are online in a personal capacity at home, or in a place of work or running your own business.
Criminals have adapted very quickly to exploit people who live out their lives on the internet which is why it is important that the public take on board our advice.”
Head of POLIT DI Jonathan Gross said:
“Our investigations cover many aspects of criminality on the internet with young people sadly often ending up as victims. This can be because of deceptive behaviour on social media sites and forums to gain the trust of victims.
The message from us is clear – do not give out personal details or offer information to strangers on the internet. In reality you wouldn’t share such details with someone you met on the street.”
Businesses across both regions are also encouraged to sign up to the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) which was launched last month. The forum has been set up for organisations to learn and share knowledge about how to prevent cyber-attacks. For more information visit www.cert.gov.uk/cisp.
In Sussex several events on 10 February which are supported by local police include;
– A forum was set up last year at Chichester College to which all schools in Chichester and Arun are invited. Assistant Heads and ICT staff have been attending these meetings to discuss a way forward in educating students, staff and parents. A competition was been arranged for KS3 and 4 and primary schools to design a 2 minute Youtube clip with safety messages.. The finalists are being shown today at Chichester High school for Girls and District police commander, Chief Inspector Justin Burtenshaw is one of the judges;
– Internet safety lessons are taking place at a number of local schools.