Cyber crime

Cyber crime is organised crime that takes advantage of the opportunities offered by the internet, particularly online banking. The most common forms of cyber crime are:

  • Phishing emails These ask for personal details and security information from you
  • Computer hacking Criminals access files, access webcams or take screenshots of your computer screen
  • Ransomware This locks your computer or mobile device. The only way you can regain access if by paying a ransom. If you’re a victim of this, you should never pay

How do I protect myself from cyber crime?

The majority of people use the internet with no problems. Here are some tips to help you feel safe online and spot a scam:

  • Use strong passwords. Use symbols, numbers and a hard-to-guess word or phrase
  • Make sure your security software is up to date
  • Never give out your bank account details. 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
  • If you get an email from an unknown source, do not open it and do not click on any attachments
  • Make sure you have secure social media privacy settings

Report cyber crime

To report online fraud or online crime, contact Action Fraud.

If you are a victim of ransomware, do not pay. The No More Ransom website may be able to help: it publishes decryption tools and prevention advice.