November 14th 2015
As we join France in mourning its dead and the civilised world in condemning last evening's cowardly and contemptible act of terrorism in Paris, we need to warn you about some of the potential outcomes you may experience online.
Firstly, fraudsters will inevitably exploit innocent people's curiousity and sense of horror by using social media, emails, texts and instant messaging to commit fraud and identity theft. You may get invitations to visit websites for news, images and videos, information about missing relatives – by clicking on links and – in the case of emails – open attachments.
Our usual advice stands … do not click on links or attachments unless you are absolutely certain of the sender and the content. If in doubt, call the sender to check authenticity.
The atrocity also also prompts us to remind you that extremist groups use social media as one of their principal communication channels for radicalising vulnerable people. If you feel that you are under pressure to do something you know to be wrong or you are not comfortable with, you should block contacts, report the approaches to the police and seek advice if you are troubled.
Similarly, if you suspect that someone you know is subject to attempts at radicalisation – or attempting to communicate extremist views – you should also contact the police.