When you're busy online it's easy to forget you could become a victim
When people use the term cyber crime they are referring to a variety of crimes that are conducted online using the internet, including paedophilia, stalking, bullying, fraud, spam emails, viruses and hacking.
Why people commit cyber crime
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 online accounts, home or work computers, mobile phones or other electronic devices.
Effects of cyber crime
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 feel stalked by obscene emails, bullying material or junk mail, and believe that someone is trying to trick you out of your money, personal details or identity.
- You may be concerned that your child is being ‘groomed’.
- It may feel like someone is intentionally trying to damage your property by contaminating your computer with viruses.
- Commonly people feel like their 'personal space' has been invaded and their personal belongings, personal details or even life have been tainted, controlled or manipulated by another person. Common reactions to these types of incidents are feeling scared, angry, fearful, sick, under siege, lack of confidence using a computer or the internet 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, but 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 shop online you use secure websites including those with high security encrypted payment pages. Put an adult block on your computer that blocks unsavoury or illegal websites.
- Keep a close eye on who your children are emailing in chat rooms and online. Talk gently to your children about internet safety or get advice from their school, which may also be running cyber-safety classes.
Get in touch, we can help
You can talk to someone from Victim Support in complete confidence, however you are feeling, and regardless of when the cyber crime took place.
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 casework 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 as well, whether or not you have told the police or anyone else.
You can call the Supportline on 0845 30 30 900 or email email@example.com for support and information.