The digital world is open to everyone, including criminals. In everyday life we lock our doors and windows and when we go out we keep our money somewhere safe; we are wary of talking to strangers and we don’t tell everyone we meet about our personal lives. To stay safe online we just need to adopt a similar degree of caution.

Safety Tips

  • Use long passwords such as combining three random words. It is generally safer to use a different long password for each site and to save the passwords in your browser.
  • Be particularly careful to use unique long passwords for important things such as your email accounts and any sites where you enter financial information.
  • Don’t reply to suspicious emails or texts but do report them (see “Reporting” below)
  • When emails, texts and messages ask you to do something take a few minutes to think. What could a criminal do with this information?
  • Treat every phone call, email, text and online message as suspicious. It may look or sound genuine, but is it?  NEVER click the links in emails and messages. Always visit a site by using a known and trusted website address.
  • Check your privacy settings on Facebook and other social media. Scammers may collect your personal details to help them defraud you, your family, friends and colleagues.
  • Even seemingly harmless things such as petitions, and interactive social media posts that offer free gifts, quizzes or games may be collecting personal data from you. Think and check before you share.
  • If you are suspicious that a telephone call is a scam, hang up and use a different phone to call the organisation back using a number that you know to be correct.  If you don’t have a different phone to use wait for five minutes or phone a friend whose voice you will recognise – the scammers may still be on your phone line even after you think you have hung up the call.
  • Automated telephone calls asking you to press a button are almost always scams. Examples include “you owe money”, “you have a tax refund” “your national insurance number is compromised.  DO NOT press buttons on your keypad, hang up.
  • The telephone number for your bank will be on the back of your debit card. Put this into your mobile phone contacts and keep it in other handy places.  Any time you are worried about your money, call this number.


Useful Websites


Cyber Crime

If you or someone else is in immediate danger or risk of harm dial 999 now

ActionFraud - National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre - Call 0300 123 2040

You can report fraud or cyber crime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using their online fraud reporting tool.  You can also report and get advice about fraud or cyber crime by calling 0300 123 2040.

Spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and calls

Video Resources

Scam Interceptors on BBC TV

Watch the BBC series Scam Interceptors to see what real life scams are like – free to watch on BBC iPLAYER here

Password Management

David Wozny , a Digital Friend volunteer with Beth Johnson Foundation has created this video with a method for managing your passwords securely. David has past professional experience in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) security

Privacy Settings on Social Media

Watch this video and to understand why it is important to take care with personal information and privacy settings on social media. This video is used in the cyber security training delivered by Staffordshire Police