I CONFESS that I am one of those people whom have been left behind by the relentless advance of technology.
If you are similarly technophobic, then the words ‘cyber- crime’ generally conjure up visions of white-suited villains caressing cats in their underground lairs, or 15-year-old boys hacking into the Pentagon’s computers from their bedrooms.
The reality is actually that this kind of crime is more common-place than you might think; and that it affects pretty much the whole of Society.
It is also not the exclusive preserve of my crudely drawn stereotypes and all kinds of criminals are seeing the opportunities presented by the advances in Information Technology.
Cyber Crime is any crime where a computer, or the internet in a general sense has been used wholly or in part in the committing of the offence.
So, whereas in previous years we used to think of cyber- crime as being restricted to so-called ‘hacking’, it now includes traditional offending in a whole range of categories, including identity fraud and blackmail.
We continue to robustly investigate those who offend against the young and vulnerable but cyber-crime also widely affects parents, the elderly and small businesses.
Derbyshire Constabulary is leading the way in raising awareness of cyber-crime and this week in Ashbourne, your local Safer Neighbourhood Team officers will be visiting a number of places in the town to talk to the community about how to ‘Get Safe On Line’.
None of us are experts, so we won’t be able to help fix your laptops or netbooks, but we will be able to give some advice and to signpost people towards a terrific range of resources.
Derbyshire Police is working with a website www.getsafeonline.org to achieve this.
While it’s not my intention to alarm, the scale of the situation is perhaps more significant than many of us think.
For instance, did you know 40 per cent of computer users have experienced virus attacks and it is estimated that over a thousand new computer viruses emerge each month?
Or did you know that people intent on exploiting a child often monitor their posts on social networking sites to see where they go and with whom? Did you know that what goes online stays online?
Please contact PCSO Jo Dales at Ashbourne Police Station on 101 for more information regarding Get Safe Online Week.