Dorset PCC Backs New Cyber Crime Campaign

Wednesday, 15 January, 2014

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill is urging residents and businesses to stay vigilant to avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime.

It coincides with the launch of a £4 million Government ‘Cyber Streetwise’ campaign which encourages people to take safety precautions while shopping, banking or socialising online. The campaign includes a new website and online videos.

PCC Martyn Underhill has already pledged to help tackle online crime in Dorset in 2014. His precept proposals would help fund a new cyber-crime initiative to raise awareness of the crime and better inform residents and businesses on how to protect themselves from online threats.

The launch of the government campaign is part of the National Cyber Security Programme and comes at a time as an increasing number of people use the web on laptops, tablets and smartphones. Findings from the government’s most recent National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker suggest more than half the population are not taking simple actions to protect themselves online.

While 94 per cent of people believe it is their personal responsibility to ensure a safe internet experience, the research highlights:

  • only 44 per cent always install internet security software on new equipment
  • only 37 per cent download updates and patches for personal computers

     when prompted – falling even further to a fifth (21 per cent) for

     smartphones and mobile devices

  • less than a third (30 per cent) habitually use complex passwords to protect

     online accounts

  • 57 per cent do not always check websites are secure before making a purchase

Martyn Underhill said: “I welcome this new government initiative. Cyber-crime is a growing threat in Dorset and people need to be better informed against the risks of using their computer or smartphone. I would urge businesses and residents to visit and take note of the advice.”                 

There are five steps people can take to protect themselves and others from cyber crime:

  1.                         1) Use strong, memorable passwords
  2.                         2) Install anti-virus software on new devices
  3.                         3) Check privacy settings on social media
  4.                         4) Shop safely online – always check online retail sites are secure
  5.                         5) Download software and application patches when prompted.

For further information on the campaign visit

To join the conversation online follow @cyberstreetwise and use #becyberstreetwise.

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