Cambridgeshire Police and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit are sharing useful data security and online safety advice as part of Get Safe Online Week (October 19 to 24), which is this year focused around identity theft.
Cyber criminals can strike from anywhere in the world, but their attacks are always personal.
Fraudsters can personally target individuals and businesses via information they can access online such as your email address, phone number or social network page.
The online cyber crime resource is also warning that criminals are able to gather snippets of personal information you may innocently put online, like your birthday, your children s names or your login details which could be all they need to defraud you.
Sergeant Phil Cobley, ERSOU s regional cyber protect co-ordinator, said: “Cyber crime is a continually growing threat, and to combat this we need to help raise awareness with internet users about the risks they face when sharing personal information online.
“It is vital that we educate people about protecting themselves and their sensitive data in the cyber sphere.
“Our regional and local cyber crime investigators are at the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape, and those committing cyber offences should be aware that their activity leaves a footprint we can trace.
Top tips to keep it personal from Get Safe Online
1. Don t publish your date of birth in your profile or highlight your birthday in posts or tweets. Your date of birth is very useful information for a fraudster, hacker or identity thief.
2. Remember that if you use the names of pets, family members, a sports team or other favourite things in your passwords or memorable words, and reveal your likes and dislikes online, you may be handing a criminal clues to your login details.
3. Don t reveal your passport number, driving licence number or any other official details to anyone unless you re absolutely sure that they are authentic, and that providing these details is necessary. For example, if a prospective employer or agency asks you for a passport scan as proof of ability to work in the UK, check their authenticity.
4. Don t get fooled into revealing your PINs or passwords in response to an email, social networking post, text or phone call no matter how convincing it seems that the request is from your bank, the police or another real organisation.
5. Don t write down or store login details electronically or on paper where there s a chance they could be found.
6. Never open an email attachment unless you re 100% certain of who sent it, or what it is. This is because it could contain a virus that steals your personal information. Even an email that seems to come from a friend or colleague could have been sent by a virus on their device. If in doubt, ask the person you believe sent it before opening anything.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary now has a Fraud and Cybercrime Investigation Unit as well as a High Tech Crime Unit dedicated to digital recovery and analysis.
For more information and advice, visit: http://www.cambs.police.uk/GetCloser/Cybercrime/
Follow @cambscops on Twitter and like Cambridgeshire Constabulary on Facebook for posts during Get Safe Online week. You can also find out more at @getsafeonline and www.getsafeonline.org.