This year’s Get Safe Online Day takes place on Tuesday October 18th. The awareness campaign will urge the UK public and small businesses to make every day safer by treating online security as essential ‘life admin’.
This is against a background of new online crime figures from Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), which will reveal increasing losses to the UK economy as a result of cybercrime in 2015/16.
Statistics compiled in support of the event reveal that a considerable proportion of the UK public still do not consider cybercrime to be as serious as those committed offline, say that they are not concerned about their online safety and security and that they have more important things to think about. This is in spite of an increasing number of people admitting that they have been the victims of cybercriminals in the last year – affected by such crimes as fraud and identity theft resulting in financial losses, varying degrees of inconvenience and emotional consequences (including, for some, embarrassment and even fear of using the internet).
However, many individuals and small businesses are still not taking the basic steps to keep themselves safe online. Many still have just one password for multiple online accounts, do not use security software, do not regularly update their operating systems, never updated their social media privacy settings or perform regular backups. Some do not even change their password when advised to after a website with which they have an account suffers from a data breach.
Making online safety part of your ‘life admin’. On Get Safe Online Day, we are encouraging everyone to start making every day safer by following a few simple steps:
- Review the passwords you use on your online accounts: Make sure they are strong enough and that you are not using the same ones for more than one account. Consider how you are going to remember them all – such as using an online password safe.
- Check your social media privacy settings. Make sure your information and updates are seen only by those you trust.
- Update your operating system and software programs/apps on your computer, mobile phone and tablet if you have been prompted to do so. It takes only a few minutes and with your mobile devices, you can even do it while you are asleep.
- Back up your information – using reputable, secure cloud backup is a good way to save all your documents, photos, music, emails and other irreplaceable files.
- Check that your internet security software and apps are up to date and switched on.
- If you have children, think about whether you’re doing enough to help ensure that they staying safe online.
- If you have lost money, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk If you are a victim of online abuse or harassment, you should report it to your local police force.