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The annual Crime Survey for England and Wales has been published by the Office of National Statistics. Worryingly, the figures show that 5.8 million incidents that are classed as cyber crime impact 1 in 10 adults.
The internet offers us a lot of convenience and most people fully embrace it. It is the level of trust that we have in the online world that can open us up to cyber crime though. Crime is changing, and as more and more of our personal details end up online, criminals are taking full advantage of any possible vulnerabilities.
This can lead to fraud, hacking, and other cyber crimes – problems which are on the rise.
You never really know who you are talking to or dealing with online sometimes. As we do not see the people behind the screens or the websites we use, we can’t always be sure who we’re really dealing with. This anonymity means that we do not always know who we are handing our personal information, or our money, over to. This means we have no idea if criminals, hackers and fraudsters are watching what we are doing; or if they are receiving our information.
Most of us just readily trust the sites we are using.
If we do become victims of cyber crime, we can seek help from our banks and occasionally the police. However, cyber crime is increasing, and as our lives are rapidly moving online, will there always be that help – that’s why its becoming more important on how the individual knows about protecting themselves online?
Sir Bernard Hogan–Howe of the Metropolitan Police said in The Times that banks are “rewarding bad behaviour” by helping out those who have been victims of online fraud. But at the end of the day, we cannot always be fully protected from online scams and fraud.
Big Brother Watch has made some recommendations as to the things you can do in order to help remain secure while online.
Install updates and patches regularly when they are recommended
Lock all your devices as you would do your home. It’s the same principle, instead of using a lock and key, you instead use pass codes and passwords
Do not make a purchase on your mobile device using a public network. Public Wi-Fi is not secure unlike your home or private Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is the perfect place for hackers and fraudsters to get hold of your information
Do not respond to email or open attachments from people or companies that you do not know. If it looks suspicious, it probably is
Do not share you private information online. Information such as your national insurance number, bank details, or address is all information that hackers and fraudsters can use. Make sure all private information is kept secure and off line
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