What is cyber crime?

Cyber crime is any criminal act dealing with computers and networks and the internet.  It covers a wide range of issues affecting all areas of society.

If you think you have become a victim of cyber crime, please call police as soon as you can on 101.

What to do if you come across illegal content online

If you see content that you consider illegal such as racist or terrorist content, you should report this to 101.

If you come across content that you consider to be illegal such as child abuse images or criminally obscene adult material, you should report this to the IWF.

For detailed advice on all aspects of cyber crime and how you can ensure you and your family are aware of the dangers visit

Top tips

  • Choose strong passwords and change them regularly
  • Review bank and credit card statements regularly
  • Update your operating system on a weekly basis
  • Install anti-virus security software  and make sure you run regular updates
  • When using free wifi be aware that you are giving people access to your device.
  • When in a wi-fi hotspot adjust your security settings to limit who can access your machine.
  • When shopping online make sure the site is security enabled, look for web addresses with 'https or shttp.
  • Back up your work, music, photos etc on a 'cloud' or separate hard drive.
  • Treat all unsolicited emails with caution and never click on links to visit unknown web sites
  • Don’t open attachments in emails that you’re not expecting – they could contain a virus or code that would allow someone to control your computer.
  • Be careful not to share personal information such as address information, bank details, telephone numbers, date of birth etc on social networking sites and other websites that don’t use encryption to secure the information you publish.

Staying safe on social networks

Be aware that once you have posted something, whether it is a status update, a comment or a picture, even if you delete it, it may have been captured elsewhere. 

Never post comments that are abusive or may cause offence to other people or groups.

Be aware of 'phishing' scams including fake friend requests and posts inviting you to visit other pages or sites.  Also be careful about clicking on links in posts.

Be aware of how much personal information you put on social networking sites either in profiles or general posts – including phone numbers, workplace details or addresses.

For more advice on social media security please click here.


How to spot online frauds and scams

  • For a list of types of online fraud, click here
  • One of the main things in protecting yourself against online fraud is to be aware of what to look for to make sure the website you are using is secure.
  • Secure websites will have a padlock symbol in the browser window frame (not on the page itself) that will appear when you try to log on or register.
  • The web address should begin with 'https://’. The 's' stands for 'secure'.
  • Always ensure you have effective and up to date antivirus and antispyware software running.

For more information on online fraud please click here.

If you think you have been a victim report it to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting

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