POLICE in Darlington are warning residents to be cyber-aware and on the look-out for suspicious activity online.
As part of Neighbourhood Watch Week, the Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team has released a video advising residents how to be on their guard against cyber-criminals.
Posted on their Facebook page, the video sets out a number of ways in which people stop themselves falling victim to computer-related crime.
It encourages people using online banking to always type in their bank’s website by hand rather than clicking on links in emails that could be fraudulent.
When online banking, residents should make sure their internet connection is secured by looking for https at the beginning of the address and a padlock symbol that should appear in the browser frame.
Bank statements should always be checked carefully and any unusual activity reported immediately.
Computer users are also advised to install effective antivirus and antispyware software and to have a firewall running before logging into online banking.
Anyone using public computers to access their bank should make sure the wi-fi network is secure, the machine has up-to-date antivirus software.
They should also be on their guard against so-called shoulder surfers hovering close by in an attempt to view personal details.
Anyone who suspects they may have fallen victim to online crime or fraud should report it by contacting Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime.
Visit actionfraud.police.uk for more details.