A new campaign to raise awareness about cyber crime and how people and businesses can protect themselves and their families online has been launched.
The Cyber Safe Staffordshire campaign aims to raise awareness about online crime to help prevent people becoming victims as well as reduce the amount of money criminals snatch from people through the internet.
The campaign, which was launched by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire Matthew Ellis and Chief Constable Jane Sawyers, sees a theme for each month starting with business crime, followed by online bullying and harassment and online shopping in the run-up to Christmas.
Mr Ellis said: “The internet and its development brings opportunity but also new and changing threats from crime and criminals, whether for individuals or for businesses. There is more chance of being mugged online than mugged in the street and it is possible the criminal is thousands of miles away. This makes cyber crime a complex area for police and other agencies to tackle.
“The Cyber Safe Staffordshire campaign aims to raise awareness of cyber crime and also show people where they can access information to help to protect themselves and their family.”
Cyber crime is a crime such as fraud, bullying, theft or grooming that is committed on the internet using a device that can access the web, such as smartphones, tablets, computers or other devices. Cyber crime also includes crimes against your computer or device such as contaminating or corrupting it with viruses or taking-over your social media profile, email account or your website.
What is illegal offline is illegal online.
Free, independent support and advice is also available for businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent from Business Crime Advisors, introduced by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire. The independent advisors, provided through Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, can be contacted on 01782 900239 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire Sue Arnold said: “Businesses are the lifeblood of local communities across Staffordshire but times are tough for small retailers and being a victim or robbery, theft, vandalism or online fraud can be enough to drive them into the ground.
“Business Crime Advisors provide expert support and guidance to businesses who are victims of crime – whether the crime is reported to police or not.”
For more information on the support and advice available to businesses in Staffordshire who are victims of crime, go to: www.businesscrimematters.com/
Businesses can also join the Cyber-Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) for free to get the latest details about online threats and attacks. CiSP is a joint industry and government initiative to share cyber threat and vulnerability information in order to increase awareness of the cyber threat and reduce the impact on UK business. Businesses can find out more at:www.ncsc.gov.uk/cisp
Businesses have an important role in educating and encouraging their customers and suppliers to improve their own cyber security, as vulnerabilities within supply chains can be exploited and targeted by criminals. You can find out more about protecting your business against cyber threats for free with Cyber Essentials: www.cyberstreetwise.com/cyberessentials/
Chief Constable Jane Sawyers said: “Most people use the Internet without any problems, however, just as criminals exist in person they also exist online. This campaign aims to raise awareness and to help people prevent becoming victims of cyber criminals by taking security precautions when online.”
More information will be provided as part of the Cyber Safe Staffordshire campaign through Business Crime Alerts. Business Crime Alerts, provided through Staffordshire Smart Alert, are free and can be localised per industry sector. Find out more at: businesscrimematters.com/ and at www.staffordshire.police.uk/article/3901/Business-Crime-Alerts-Sign-Up
More information about cyber crime can be found on the Staffordshire Police website at: www.staffordshire.police.uk/cybercrime