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Police Advice for Safe Online Social Networking

Dorset Police is continuing to educate the public on the threat of cyber-crime and is encouraging Dorset’s residents to ensure they are safe online while social networking.

The internet is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, with many of us using Facebook, Twitter, Skype, online dating sites and others on a regular basis.

Superintendent Mark Callaghan, Director of Intelligence, said: “Many of us enjoy sharing the details of our lives with our online friends, but do you really know who you are communicating with and who can see your posts?

“Make sure your privacy settings are set to the highest level so that only your friends can see your details.

“It is easy for a cyber-criminal to get personal details from social networking sites. Posting details and photographs of your summer holidays while you are away may seem innocent enough, but to a burglar you have just advertised you have an empty house. 

“Be wary about who you invite or accept invitations from on social networking sites and internet telephone services. Do not accept friendship requests from complete strangers. You would not do this in real life!”

Dorset Police is advising people to be wary of publishing any identifying personal information either in a profile or in posts – such as phone numbers, pictures of your home, workplace or school, your address or birthday.

Think twice before clicking on any links. These can lead to hoax pages and sites designed to defraud you or steal your identity. Choose safe passwords – careless use of passwords can lead to an account being hacked.

The risks are becoming the victim of online bullying, trolling or other forms of abuse such as revenge porn or extortion.

What goes online stays online. Do not say anything or publish pictures that might later cause you or someone else embarrassment. 

Detective Superintendent Mark Callaghan continued: “I would urge everyone to visit GetSafeOnline and cybersafe.dorset.police.uk for help and advice on online safety.

“Together we can ensure all Dorset’s residents are CyberSafe.”

Dorset Police is encouraging everyone to visit GetSafeOnline and cybersafe.dorset.police.uk for help and advice on online safety.

If intimate photos or videos of you are posted online against your will, report it to Dorset Police by calling 101.

Issued: 12 October 2015