When you're busy online it's easy to forget you could become a victim
Cyber crime covers a variety of crimes that are conducted online using the internet. Cyber crime can include paedophilia, stalking, bullying, fraud, spam emails, viruses and hacking. Committing crimes online gives someone the cover of the internet to hide their identity and whereabouts. It also allows them to target someone directly through emails, viruses or hacking into their home or work computers, mobile phones or other electronic devices. As a victim, all of this can make you feel like you're facing a powerful and invisible attacker. You may feel under-siege and powerless to defend yourself even if you are computer literate. Some people might feel embarrassed about this kind of crime because they may have been tricked or think they could have done more to protect themselves.
You may also feel:
- under siege or stalked by obscene emails, bullying material or junk mail
- that someone is trying to trick you out of your money, personal details or even your child of their innocence
- someone is intentionally trying to damage your property by contaminating your computer with viruses
- that your 'personal space' has been invaded and that your personal belongings, personal details or even your life has been tainted, controlled or manipulated by another person scared, angry, fearful, sick, under siege
- that you don't feel confident using a computer or the internet any more and unsure who to call for help.
Some practical ideas
Here are some things you can do to help protect yourself against cyber crime:
- make sure your computer has at least a standard firewall and virus guard
- if you receive strange emails in your inbox don’t open them, delete them straight away
- setup a block or filter for any junk/spam mail in your personal or work email account
- make sure when you buy things online you use secure websites including those with high security encrypted payment pages
- put an adult block on your computer that blocks unsavoury websites
- keep a close-eye on who your children are emailing in chat rooms and online
Get in touch: 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.
You can also email or call the Victim Supportline on 0845 30 30 900 for support and information.