CLEVELAND Police is supporting a campaign to stop people falling victim to cyber criminals.

The Cyber Streetwise campaign, which launches today, aims to change the way people protect themselves while shopping or banking online.

The information campaign will arm people with the knowledge they need to take control of their cyber security.

The new website, offers advice and resources for people, and for businesses.

Inspector Dave Turnbull, from Cleveland Police, said: “The use of the internet in our daily lives is now commonplace. However, there are risks.

“Reports of cybercrime such as on-line fraud is increasing but by taking some simple steps you can make using the internet a safer experience for all.

“Make sure your computer has an up to date anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed and consider using a firewall.”

The launch of the programme is part of the government’s National Cyber Security programme and comes at a time when people are using the web on tablets, laptops and smartphones.

Research from the government’s most recent National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker shows that more than half of people are not taking simple steps to protect themselves online. The public’s biggest concerns are identity theft and losing money and 16 per cent of those surveyed had lost at least £500 after having their card details stolen and used over the internet.

The campaign recommends:

  • Using strong, memorable passwords
  • Installing anti-virus software on new devices
  • Checking privacy on social media
  • Shopping safely online by always ensuring to check online retail sites are secure
  • Downloading software and application patches when prompted.