Online safety guidance for the public

The vast majority of consumers use the internet without any problems. However anyone can fall prey to cyber criminals if they do not take basic security precautions when online. 

 Top tips

  1. No bank or card issuer will contact you by email and ask you to enter all your personal and financial details online. If you receive a message like this, report it to your bank, then delete it
  2. If you get an email from an unknown source, do not open it and do not click on any attachments
  3. Make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date
  4. Never follow the messages from anti-virus software you encounter whilst on the internet. Only follow the anti-virus instructions from the software you have installed on your computer
  5. Install an anti-spyware package 
  6. Always use a firewall
  7. Ensure that your software is up to date

For example, Windows software is routinely updates on the second Tuesday of each month (security updates are issued on that date). Should a critical update be necessary between monthly updates, make sure it is installed immediately.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a growing cyber threat to both individuals and businesses. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks your computer or mobile device and encrypts your files. When this happens the only way you can get access to your files is to pay a ransom. If you're a victim of ransomware - do not pay. There is no guarantee you will get your files back.

The No More Ransom project offers decryption keys for many different types of ransomware. Visit the No More Ransom website for advice on protecting yourself from ransomware and what to do if you're a victim.

Reporting online fraud


To report fraud or online crime contact Action Fraud.

Further information

You can find further information and advice on protecting yourself online from Get Safe Online and Cyber Streetwise.

 

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