Protecting Yourself

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Risks

Coronavirus & You

Right now, safeguarding ourselves, our loved ones, friends and colleagues from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is uppermost in people’s minds, here and around the world. After all, this is an unprecedented situation which warrants...

Fake News

In this era of relatively ungoverned social media, a multitude of online news channels and sponsored stories, exposure to fake news has become an everyday occurrence....

Oversharing

Oversharing information affects far more of us than we might think. Whether you’ve shared a seemingly innocent photo of your friends or family – or unwittingly given away details of your banking or passport details – you...

Young People & Cyber Criminality

The dangers to youngsters who spend hours on end on their computer or tablet in their bedroom are well documented and include health and social problems. However, one of the most serious risks is that of breaking the law online...

Voucher / gift card scams

A voucher or gift card scam takes place when unsuspecting victims are approached by fraudsters and persuaded to pay bills, fees or debts using iTunes gift cards or other vouchers....

Tax Scams

Fraudulent phishing emails claiming to be issued by the tax office and demanding payment or notifying you of a refund, have been in existence for some years. They are still as, if not more, popular with scammers....

Online Abuse

Social media has made it very easy for us to communicate quickly and easily with family, friends and acquaintances, as well as sharing experiences and letting others know of our opinions and beliefs. These opinions and beliefs...

Blackmail emails

There has been a sharp increase in the incidence of emails threatening to expose the recipient to everybody in their contacts list, for viewing pornographic online content unless a fee is paid. The emails claim that the sender...

Hate Content

Whilst the internet enables us to communicate quickly, easily and with a wide group of people at the same time, it also makes it easier to spread hateful opinions and material, seemingly with relative anonymity and little...

Property Fraud

Property fraud occurs when fraudsters sell or mortgage your property without your consent. Property is usually the most valuable asset you own and can be sold and mortgaged to raise money. It is therefore an attractive target for...

Motor Insurance Fraud (Ghost broking)

Motor insurance fraud, also known as ‘ghost broking’, occurs when organised crime groups or individuals pose as genuine insurance brokers in order to commit fraud. They deceive you into buying cheap motor vehicle insurance...

Loyalty Card Fraud

Loyalty schemes operated by retail, hospitality, entertainment, travel and dedicated card businesses have become very popular to the extent that they represent a billion-pound industry. Schemes vary in how they operate: some...

Recovery Room Scams

Victims of investment scams are increasingly vulnerable to other investment scams, follow-up scams and recovery room fraud....

Online Radicalisation

Radicalisation by extremist groups or individuals can be perpetrated via a number of means: face-to-face by peers, in organised groups in the community and, increasingly, online. Their targets are individuals or groups of people...

Call Recording Services

A number of websites have sprung up offering call recording services, whereby calls you make to an organisation can be recorded and stored, so that you can prove what was said in the conversation in the event of disputes. You...

Subscription Traps

Subscription traps take place when you sign up online or on the phone for free or low-cost trials of products, only to find that you have been unwittingly locked into costly repeat payments. Typically, these products are slimming...

Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is the practice of uploading online explicit images – specifically photos and videos – of ex-partners (or even current partners) without their consent. The images are generally taken during an intimate...

Pension Fraud

Pensions are important and often very significant assets that people rely on so that they may live comfortably in later life. However, like with any valuable asset they can be the target for illegitimate activities, scams or...

Social Engineering

When talking about online safety and security, ‘social engineering’ means the act of manipulating or tricking people into certain actions including divulging personal or financial information … a kind of confidence trick....

Webcam Blackmail

Webcam blackmail usually involves people being lured into taking off some or all of their clothes in front of their webcam, only to be told that you have been recorded and that the video will be posted online and/or shown to the...

Telephone Banking Fraud

Telephone banking fraud is a scam which is becoming increasingly commonplace. The fraudsters do not actually scam their victims online, but use the telephone to do so. Here’s how it works: ...

Copycat Websites

Copycat websites are those which offer services from government departments or local government, but are not the official site and charge an often substantial premium for those services, often with no tangible benefit to the...

Ratting – Remote Access Trojans

You use your computer or mobile device for many everyday private or confidential tasks, which is why it is essential to take precautions to protect it from viruses and spyware. One type of spyware becoming increasingly common is...

Payday Loans

Payday loans let you borrow relatively small amounts of money for a short period – from a few days up to a month, until you get paid the following month. Available from internet sites and high street shops, payday loans can be...

Cyberstalking

Stalking and harassment have always existed, but since the growth of the internet, it has become easier for those who carry it out to do so either as an extension of their existing activities, or purely online. This persistent...

Money Muling

As criminals seek more sophisticated ways of concealing the proceeds of their illegal activity, the practice of money muling is becoming increasingly commonplace....

Preventing Identity Theft

Identity theft is a method used to carry out criminal activity, involving unauthorised use of your name and personal details to either steal from you, or commit a crime in your name. Identity theft can be carried out either...

Spam & Scam email

email is both an excellent communication tool and also a way that companies can inform you about their latest products and services. However, email is frequently used to deliver unwanted material which is at best, annoying and at...

Keeping Activities Safe

Trades Approval Websites

A number of websites have been launched in recent years which the public can use to find tradespeople and check their credentials. Tradespeople or companies have profiles on the sites describing their services and often featuring...

Job Searching

Job searching online has become the most popular method of finding employment. However, like all online activity, job hunting carries certain risks which you need to be aware of and take precautions against, in order to stay...

Adult Content

There are a number of precautions you should observe when visiting websites featuring adult content. Firstly, the popularity of such sites means they have become a favoured way of criminals to spread malware, which can have a...

Smart TVs

Smart TVs (also known as Connected TVs) integrate television with the internet. When connected to the internet, they enable you to search and find videos, movies, photos and other content on the web by interacting via your remote...

eCards

eCards (electronic or online greeting cards) have become very popular over the past few years. They provide a convenient, inexpensive and fun way to send greetings to friends and family – or if you run a business – your...

Safe Property Rental

Fraud involving rental properties has always existed, but the fact that the majority of rentals are now advertised online has increased opportunities for fraudsters, and hence the amount of rental fraud that takes place. Such...

Safe Online Dating

Online dating sites take the traditional matchmaking process online and allow people to meet one another via the internet, with many encounters leading to long-term relationships. ...

Online Gambling

Online gambling has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years, and gamblers have a huge choice of sites and apps to choose from. Some offer only specific types of gambling (such as bingo, poker or betting), whilst...

Holiday & Travel Booking

When using the internet to research or book your holiday or other travel arrangements, the world is literally at your fingertips. However, there are risks associated with doing so – some specific to holiday and travel booking...

Online Gaming

Many computer games are played online against other players over the internet, whether on a console, computer, mobile device or via social networking sites. Most play using an assumed identity, so you are generally already...

Webmail

Webmail, such as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or gmail – or that supplied by some internet service providers – makes it easy to email using different computers, smartphones and tablets. However, there are risks associated with using...

General Protection

Digital Legacies

When people die, they leave their physical assets and money to beneficiaries who could be family members, friends or acquaintances or favourite charities. This is arranged beforehand by making a will or – if there is no will...

Searching the Internet

With ever increasing amounts of material on the internet, virtually any information you need can be found using search engines such as Google and Yahoo! In addition to the benefits that search brings, however, there are some...

Accepting Terms & Conditions

When using the internet, you are frequently required to accept Terms & Conditions before proceeding with shopping, banking, downloading and other tasks. Sometimes, this is a once-only requirement – for example when you...

Privacy

Maintaining privacy whilst online is essential in avoiding identity theft and fraud. Apart from these risks, however, there is personal information about you which you undoubtedly do not want to reveal to certain other people. ...

Computer Use in Public Places

Using computers, smartphones or tablets in public places is now as commonplace as using them at home or in the office.  Whether using your own device – or computers found in internet cafés and libraries – there can be a...

Passwords

Your passwords are the most common way to prove your identity when using websites, email accounts and your computer itself (via User Accounts). The use of strong passwords is therefore essential in order to protect your security...

Safe Internet Use

The internet has revolutionised the way we live our lives – enabling us to read the news, enjoy entertainment, carry out research, book our holidays, buy and sell, shop, network, learn, bank and carry out many other everyday...

Replacing Windows 7

If you still run Microsoft Windows 7 on your computer, you need to be aware that Microsoft ceased support for the operating system on January 14th 2020. As a result, no longer issues updates, security patches, bug fixes and...