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Met launches cyber crime prevention video campaign

News   •   Jun 26, 2017 05:00 BST

Making a stronger password and spotting fake documents

Five video clips, aimed at helping web users to become less vulnerable to cyber crime have been released by police.

Detectives from Operation Falcon, the Met's response to Fraud and Linked Crime Online, designed the five clips to inform web users how to avoid becoming a victim of crime by adjusting their current online behaviours.

In 2016 around 750,000 fraud and computer misuse crimes were reported to police nationally. The figure is staggering, but even more staggering is that so many of those crimes could have been prevented by making a few small changes in online behaviour.

In order to avoid becoming a victim of online crime you don't need to be a computer expert. Getting used to a few good online habits drastically reduces the chances of becoming a victim of cyber-crime and will allow users to reduce their vulnerability and surf the web safely.

The video clips cover the five main causes of cyber-related frauds. They are:

= Use of weak or insecure passwords;
= Failure to install security updates on devices;
= Using insecure/public Wi-Fi;
= Being vulnerable to identity theft;
= Being vulnerable to 'phishing'.

The effects of becoming a victim of online crime can run far deeper than a loss of cash or property. The inconvenience and the frustration of hackers violating your privacy and accessing your finances and other accounts can be far-ranging and long-lasting.

The new campaign launches on Monday, 26 June and can be followed on Twitter @metpoliceuk where a new 'behaviour' will be featured each day that working week. Each day, throughout the five days, the campaign will focus on a single topic as follows:

Monday 26 June - passwords;
Tuesday 27 June - computer updates;
Wednesday 28 June - phishing;
Thursday 29 June - wi-fi safety;
Friday 30 June - online identity.

Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard, head of the Met's Operation Falcon said: "Victims of cyber criminals often mistakenly believe that fraud and cybercrime happen to other people.

"Our new video clips form part of our 'Little Guide…' series, through which we aim not just to draw the public's attention to cyber crime, but to also to tell web users in a more engaging way what they need to do in order to avoid becoming a victim.

"It takes just a couple of minutes to view each clip and having viewed all five you will be better equipped to protect yourself from cyber criminals and fraudsters trying to steal your identity and your money.

"The use of password hardening is the first line of defence against cyber criminals and is the first video clip that we feature. In the majority of cases, a strong password could have prevented criminals from gaining access. This video clip gives a simple step by step on how to create a virtually impenetrable password that will defend accounts from all types of criminal attack."

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, which provides online security advice, said: "We hear all sorts of scary stories about online scams, but the internet offers so many fantastic opportunities that we shouldn't let the threat of cyber crime put us off going online and enjoying its many benefits. Instead, we just need to make a few small changes to our online behaviour in order to protect ourselves and stop scammers catching us out.

"The video series created by the Metropolitan Police shows us how to do this through simple step-by-step guides and tips on some of the basics such as creating a password. A few minutes to watch the videos could mean a lifetime of online safety, so we really do ask the public to take the time to watch them, brush up on their online safety and share them with others."

The clips can be viewed at www.met.police.uk or at GetSafeOnline.org.

To experience the campaign on social media visit us on Twitter @metpoliceuk, search #GetSafeOnline, or follow 'Metropolitan Police Service' on Facebook.

Additional prevention, reporting advice and the following downloadable guides are available from:

https://www.met.police.uk/advice-and-information/fraud/personal-fraud/cyber-crime/

+ The Little Book of Big Scams;
+ The Little Book of Big Scams - Business Edition;
+ The Little Book of Cyber Scams.