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Police & Crime Commissioner offers online safety advice

From Dafydd Llywelyn, Comisiynydd Heddlu a Throseddu / Police & Crime Commissioner, Dyfed Powys

have spent my first few months in office meeting as many people as possible to understand the needs of the public, victims and businesses. Dyfed-Powys is geographically the largest police force area in England and Wales and is a predominately rural area, with a few localised areas of dense urban population.
Dyfed Powys is a very safe and secure place to live, where people trust each other and are able to enjoy a good quality of life. Improved connectivity can impact rural communities greatly but it does not come without consequences. There is a growing trend for criminals to take to the internet and email, and take advantage of the trusting nature of Dyfed Powys residents.

The Dyfed-Powys Police Digital Communications and Cyber Crime Department have seen a number of scams being aimed towards unsuspecting victims, normally taking the form of someone either emailing or phoning and pretending to be from a company such as Microsoft, BT, Talk Talk or even the HMRC.
This crime is called ‘Phishing’ and the prime purpose is to gather details about the victim, and also to make the recipient part with hard earned money, potentially causing a great deal of grief and severe financial loss.

Some points to remember when you are online:

• Don’t use lazy passwords and make sure you use different passwords for each online account.

• Be careful what you post online – it is almost impossible to delete it once it is online.

• Think before you click – Never open email attachments or click on links from accounts. Hover over the sender of the email to reveal the true email address of the sender.

• If you get hacked, change your passwords immediately and report it to the police.

• Use a firewall, anti-virus programme and anti-spyware programme and keep them updated.

• Shop safely. Don’t shop on a site unless it has the “https” and a padlock icon to the left or right of the website address (URL).

• If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is! Don’t be greedy, money is not easy to come by and most scams involve the victim thinking that they are getting a bargain or free money.

• Don’t fall to the email invoice scam – If someone emails your business stating that they have changed bank accounts – phone the number of the accounts person you normally deal with and check. This particular email scam has cost businesses in the UK millions of pounds to date.

Useful Websites: (free cyber security course)