This year’s Safer Internet Day is once again coordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre. This year’s theme is: ‘An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world’.
Without a doubt, 2020 saw a huge increase in remote working and online learning due to the impact of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, this rise in net connectivity and the greater reliance on technology also led to a surge in online crime. So, what exactly is cyber crime and who are the main targets of these sinister cyber criminals?
Some of the most common online offences include:
- Identity theft — This can happen when an unsuspecting individual is encouraged to share personal information. Fraudsters can use this information for financial gain — e.g. they can steal someone’s identity and open a bank account or apply for a credit card in their name.
- Phishing — This is where individuals receive an email claiming to be from a financial institution, bank, or a well-known online shop etc. The email claims a security breach has occurred and it asks the user to either send the lost information immediately or they are asked to follow a link to a fake website that mirrors the original site. Once the user is at the spoof site, the criminal steals their personal information.
- Cyberbullying — this is bullying that occurs online via social media, online forums, email and text. This is very distressing for the person being bullied and those who witness the bullying.
Safer Internet Day 2021 is one way of highlighting the serious problems that exist online. Pressure is also mounting for internet service providers and social media channels to do more to prevent online crime. But let’s not forget we can all play our part — we are all responsible for using technology responsibly and respectfully.