While the internet can be a wonderful place, it has opened up a whole new area where crimes can be committed. Cyber crime covers a variety of crimes that are conducted online using the internet.
Cyber crime can include:
• Online sexual blackmail/abuse
• spam emails
Committing crimes online gives someone the cover of the internet to hide their identity and whereabouts.
As a victim, all of this can make you feel like you are facing a powerful and invisible attacker. You may feel under-siege and powerless to defend yourself even if you are computer literate.
Victims may also feel:
• embarrassed – you may have been tricked or think you could have done more to protect yourself
• stalked – by obscene emails, bullying material or junk mail
• tricked – out of money, personal details or your child being tricked of their innocence
• that someone is intentionally trying to damage your property by contaminating your computer with viruses
• that your ‘personal space’ has been invaded
• that your personal belongings, personal details or even life have been tainted, controlled or manipulated by another person
• you may not feel confident using a computer or the internet any more and are unsure who to call for help
Some practical ideas
• make sure your computer has at least a standard firewall and virus guard
• don’t open strange emails – delete them straight away
• setup a block or filter for any junk/spam mail in personal and/or work email accounts
• when buying things online, be sure to use secure websites, including those with high security encrypted payment pages
• put an adult block on your computer to block unsavoury websites
• keep a close-eye on who children are emailing in chat rooms and online
• make children aware of cyber crime – encourage them to look at http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ for information which is age-appropriate to them.
• Information for both children, parents and carers is also available on http://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
We can help
However you are feeling or whenever the cyber crimes took place, you can talk to someone from Victim Support free of charge and in complete confidence. We can help, whether or not you have told the police or anyone else. Most victims of crime want to talk to someone about what has happened and how they are feeling. Friends and family can be very helpful, but our volunteers are specially trained to listen and understand. We can also give useful information to help you deal with some of the problems a crime has caused. And we can offer practical help too. Simply contact us.