Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping today urged new gadget owners to make a resolution to stay safe online in 2017 and keep cyber criminals permanently locked out.
As thousands of people unwrapped new iPads, smartphones, computers and laptops this Christmas, the PCC issued a timely reminder for people to heed security advice to keep their possessions – and identities – safe from uninvited cyber guests.
Cybercrime is a growing threat across Nottinghamshire and the UK and criminals are using increasingly sophisticated tools to breach privacy and internet security, leaving gadget owners vulnerable to financial loss.
As eager shoppers prepare to hit the New Year sales online, it is an opportune time to remind people to ensure they shop from a trusted source and to check the safety of their transactions through the presence of a padlock symbol.
New internet devices can be more susceptible to attack if security software and updates have not been downloaded and owners are being warned to take simple steps to protect themselves from the outset
“There is a whole army of people behind the scenes whose job it is to crack fraud online but in many cases we can help ourselves by taking the right security steps,” said Mr Tipping.
“While it won’t prevent every incident of online fraud or theft, it can make it much harder for a hacker or identity thief to breach your security barriers and reduce your chances of falling victim to cybercrime.
“It can be tempting with the business of Christmas to put off installing vital updates and security software on a new device but such a delay can come with a heavy financial cost. Along with reading up on the instructions of our new gadgets this Christmas, we could all benefit from a cyber security refresher to keep crime at bay.
“We all like to have a New Year’s resolution at the dawn of a new year so why not make 2017 the year to become cyber aware and protect your cyberspace free from unwanted visitors.”
Top Safety Tips:
- Perform a cyber health check – Ensure the latest versions of software are downloaded and installed, update Antivirus regularly and keep ‘Firewall’ switched on
- Always use strong, unique passwords for every website you visit and change them regularly. It is advisable to install a password manager to maintain this for you.
- Never reveal personal and financial information online as it could be used to commit scams and online fraud.
- Use the privacy and security settings on social media sites to ensure only friends and family can see your pages. Even if your account is locked as private, information you have shared could be accessed through one of your contacts’ pages.
- Never post personal information such as your address or phone number online.
- Set your new smartphone to lock after a short time and ensure it requires an authentication code for unlocking.
- Don’t click on links in emails and texts, even if they appear to come from a bank or other institution. If you think the message is valid, log into your account directly without using any external links.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 22nd December 2016