Whether it’s using your phone to order the weekly shop, checking in with work mates remotely, logging into Zoom for a family catch up or online prayer, most of us have been spending more time online. It won’t surprise you to learn that UK internet use has doubled in the last year.
While we’ve been organising our lives online, cyber criminals have been exploiting the pandemic with thousands of email scams and fake websites. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which has the job of making the UK the safest place to be online in the world, has seen many COVID related online scams from fake online shops to bogus offers of a COVID test.
Thankfully, you can protect yourself from these scams by following the practical steps recommended by our experts. Using a strong and separate password for your email will make it more difficult for hackers to break to reset your other account passwords. To protect your devices, we recommend regularly updating apps and operating systems so you’re receiving the latest fixes for security flaws.
By following this advice, you will protect your devices and accounts from the majority of online crime. Since April last year, the Cyber Aware campaign has been promoting our six essential steps to the public and more details on these can be seen at www.cyberaware.gov.uk
You can also help keep everybody safe by forwarding any emails that don’t look quite right to the NCSC’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service at [email protected]. We will investigate and take down any malicious sites where found. Suspected scam texts can be reported by forwarding them to 7726. Anybody who thinks that they’ve fallen victim to an online scam should report this to Action Fraud.