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Public encouraged to Get Safe Online

Dorset Police is supporting Get Safe Online Week by issuing online safety tips to members of the public.

Get Safe Online Week is a national awareness campaign which runs from Monday 22 October to Friday 26 October 2012.

The decision to support the campaign comes after Dorset’s Community Safety Survey revealed that residents have concerns about internet-related financial crime which includes online fraud and phishing scams.

Survey results for 2011/12 showed that 56% of respondents are very or fairly worried about financial crime – comprising identity theft, fraud and card skimming – while 54% are very or fairly worried about internet-related financial crime.

The Force’s crime figures show that there were 91 internet-related fraud and forgery offences reported to Dorset Police between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012.

This year, Get Safe Online Week is using the strapline ‘Click and tell’. The aim is to encourage people to log onto http://www.getsafeonline.org/, pick up some tips and pass them on.

The Get Safe Online website boasts a wealth of online safety tips and advice covering areas such as protecting your computer, fraud prevention, shopping online, using smartphones safely and keeping children safe online.

The website also has a dedicated section providing online safety advice for businesses.

Dorset Police is supporting the campaign by issuing top tips through its twitter account @dorsetpolice and encouraging the public to share them with friends, family and colleagues at every opportunity.

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson said: “It is so important people and businesses take simple steps to ensure they stay safe online.

“Offences like bullying, fraud, identity theft and scams can all take place online, so I’d encourage the public to either visit our website or follow us on twitter to receive simple advice and tips to help stay safe online.

“Last year’s Community Safety Survey results show us that a significant number of people are concerned about internet-related financial crime despite only 91 internet-related fraud and forgery offences being reported to us last year.

“However, I would still encourage the public to be on their guard against these types of offences and take simple steps like keeping personal information and bank details secure to reduce the chances of becoming a victim.

“If anyone believes they have been a victim of online crime, I’d encourage them to report it by calling us on our non-emergency telephone number 101.”

Members of the public can find out more about Get Safe Online Week and other online safety advice by visiting http://www.dorset.police.uk/, or by logging on direct to http://www.getsafeonline.org/.