INTERNET users in South Tyneside are being urged to step up security to help protect themselves from cyber criminals.
The reminder from police comes as fraudsters turn to the web to make cash by duping people into handing over bank details and hacking accounts.
Allan Brown, crime prevention adviser, said: “E-safety has become an important issue for online users, as more and more people are accessing the internet through computers, tablets and mobile phones.
“We can all do a little bit more to help keep cyber space safe.
“Northumbria Police offers a comprehensive information advice site which provides people with useful hints and tips on how to best protect their computer.
“Cyber criminals are becoming very clever in devising new ways of obtaining personal details, so anyway that people can safeguard their equipment and software is a good idea.”
Police have released this advice:
•Create strong passwords and avoid using the same details for multiple online accounts.
•Install appropriate firewalls, anti-virus and malware software.
•Set social media profiles to “private” and be careful of the content you post online.
•Secure mobile phone devices as they are vulnerable to viruses and hackers.
•Ensure your operating system is up-to-date to avoid potential attacks.
•Encrypt important files like tax returns and financial records.
•Secure Wi-Fi networks.
•Protect e-identities and be careful of who is provided with personal details to including date of birth, address and telephone numbers.
•Think carefully before you open any links from “unknown websites” and be wary of potential scams that aim to extract personal details.
•If you believe you are a victim of computer crime, report it to your local police station.
For more information about e-safety, visit the “advice and information” section of the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk/advice_and_information/esafety