Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, has today (Friday, 19th October) launched a new campaign ahead of Get Safe Online Week, to help people understand the risks posed by cyber criminals.
With online crime one of the biggest challenges facing policing, 'Be Cyber Wise' highlights some of the main threats faced by individuals and organisations online using the strapline - Cyber scammers don’t spell it out. Take a closer look. It also gives advice on how to protect against the wide range of techniques used by criminals to steal personal information or money.
The campaign highlights the importance of reporting all online crimes to Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime and includes a 'risk calculator' – helping members of the public and businesses get a clearer view of what their cyber risk might be and how to improve their online security.
Clive Grunshaw, who is the National Association of Police and Crime Commissioners' Lead for Fraud and Cyber Crime, launched the county wide campaign at St George's Shopping Centre in Preston with Lancashire Constabulary and other partners, talking to members of the public about online risks and steps they can take to protect themselves.
He said: " With online crime accounting for over half of all crime committed every day and set to grow rapidly, one of the most important steps we can take is raise awareness of the risks that online criminals pose and stop the most vulnerable becoming victims.
"More and more people are regularly using the internet for an increasing range of activities, from shopping and banking to socialising and even managing home smart-systems, such as heating and appliances, remotely. As people increasingly live their lives online the risk of being victim of cyber crime increases.
"This is what Be Cyber Wise is all about, highlighting the techniques that criminals use to steal money and information so those who are most impacted, particularly older people and small and medium size businesses, know the signs and protect themselves.
"I'm proud to launch this campaign which will be supported by our cyber volunteers who continue to do fantastic work engaging at a grassroots level across the county. By working together with partners nationally and internationally, we can stay one step ahead of online criminals in the constantly evolving digital world."
Detective Inspector Andy Horne from Lancashire Constabulary said: "Lancashire Police is committed to tackling all forms of cyber crime, especially where the offenders target the most vulnerable. We focus on 4 P’s – Prevent, Protect, Prepare and Pursue with much of our work about educating people and enterprises around how they can make themselves more secure.
"The Constabulary also supports a network of skilled Cyber Special Cyber Volunteers who work tirelessly to provide additional cyber crime resources at the local level, often running digital drop-ins where anyone with questions or concerns can receive face to face advice from a skilled digital volunteer."