West Sussex Cyber Crime Prevention

Staying Safe Online

Follow these steps and advice to help stay safe online...


The internet is an exciting place, full of information, products and services which the vast majority of us use without issue. But, as we know, there are criminals who take advantage of the anonymity of the online world to deceive, hack and steal if the opportunity arises.

The good news is by following these easy precautions, it will significantly improve your chances of avoiding internet scams and you can enjoy being online.


A strong password is your first defence against hackers and cyber criminals.

To create a strong password simply choose three random words. Numbers and symbols can still be used if needed, however, using three random words is the key to creating a strong password.

Never use any word which is related to you and may be easy to guess, for example by looking at your social media pages.


What many people don’t realise is that software updates contain vital security upgrades which help keep your devices secure – they are not just there to improve performance.

Always download the latest software updates as soon as they are available

The majority of people don’t always download the latest software updates for their mobile phone or for their computer as soon as they are available to do so. 

The most common reason for this is that people feel it is too time consuming.

However, it only takes a few minutes to download software and app updates versus the time it can take to recover from a cyber hack.

For more information and advice please visit our Get Safe Online West Sussex Page: www.getsafeonline.org/westsussex

Watch the Think Before You Click short film produced by the Members of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner’s Youth and Elders’ Commissions.

This film aims to demonstrate the importance of following the two golden rules: create a strong password and update your software regularly.

Get Safe Online Campaigns

Get Safe Online SwitchedOn Parents Campaign - July 2018

Make this summer a safe one for your children online

Summer’s here: It’s a great time for your children to enjoy more time with you and maybe head off for a family holiday. However, the long days home from school also mean that they will probably be spending more time online… whether it’s on social media, playing games or watching videos. You want your children to be sociable and inquisitive, but above all, to be safe.

How long are they spending online? What content are they looking at? Who are they talking to?

These days, it’s just as vital to make sure children are safe online as in the street or the park.

Here are some expert tips on helping to protect your children from increasingly commonplace issues such as accessing inappropriate content via websites and streaming, sharing too much personal information, believing fake news, and thinking everyone they meet online is a friend.

Expert tips for being a switched on parent:

  • Talk regularly with your children about their and your online lives - Get them to show you what they’re doing and try some of the technologies out for yourself. Show you understand how important technology is to them and talk about the benefits. Don’t shy away from discussing responsible behaviour, and talk about bullying and adult content in the appropriate language for their age.

  • Set boundaries and rules from a young age - including how much time they can spend online for a healthy balance. Set an example by using your own mobile devices responsibly and at the right time.

  • Talk to your friends, family and other parents about how they help their children to progress and keep safe online. Exchange tips and share experiences.

  • Use parental control software and apps on computers, mobile devices and games consoles, privacy features on social networking sites, and the safety options on search engines.

  • Opt into your ISP’s family filters - But use technological controls only in conjunction with giving guidance and advice.

  • Tell your children that not everybody they meet online is who they appear to be - Whether they’re on social media, chatrooms, games or YouTube. Be aware that changes in behaviour or moods may be a sign of some kind of online abuse. Find out how to use social networks’ reporting buttons and show your children.

  • Check lower age limits of social networking and picture sharing sites - and make sure your children aren’t using age-inappropriate sites, apps or games. Download apps only from recognised sources such as App Store and Google Play. Add your own email address when setting up accounts for your children.
  • Keep yourself up to date with new game ‘fads’, especially those with negative publicity because they may be violent, encourage gambling or leave the way open for grooming.

  • Be aware of the rise in children’s live streaming of themselves and the dangers associated with it - There is also a danger of children randomly being exposed to inappropriate content on video streaming sites such as YouTube.
  • Talk to your children about online safety basics - such as not clicking on random links or attachments, good password practice, not turning off internet security programs/apps and firewalls, and not revealing personal information such as their address, current location or private images.
  • You can find more information and advice at these websites:





For more information and comprehensive, expert, easy-to-follow advice visit:


Download the GSO SwitchedOn Parents leaflet below.

GSO SwitchedOn Parents Leaflet

Spreading the Message

Spreading the Message

One of the main aims of this campaign is to get these messages and advice out at a local level. Utilising events and local networks already in existence is one way in which we are trying to achieve this.


Visit your local library to pick up a Get Safe Online in West Sussex leaflet (or download one via our resources tab). Library staff will also be able to help by giving you information or sign posting you to advice and resources to help you stay safe online.

Digital Tea Parties & other events:

West Sussex County Council held its first Digital Tea Party in Littlehampton last year. The Digital Tea Party aims are to help residents to use devices and access services online, as well as staying safe and offering top tips and advice.

We will keep this page updated of any upcoming Digital Tea Parties or any other local events.

Could you share this advice amongst your family, friends and networks?

Should you be interested in sharing this advice and messaging you may find these suggestions helpful:

Via the resources tab:

1. Share the leaflets available to download

2. Show the presentation available to friends/family/community groups

3. Pick a ‘how to guide’ and talk about it

4. Find out when WSCC Digital Tea Parties are being held near you 

5. Check out one of the websites for some latest safety advice via the advice and support section

Young people

Play your part and help make the internet become a safe and secure place for young people and children to communicate.

We want to equip you with the knowledge and information you need to manage your online presence and spot the signs of friends who may be vulnerable and in danger.

Here you’ll find examples existing online threats, privacy advice and security guidance to help keep you safe.

Watch our video and learn about real-life online dangers: 

Be in control of your online profile.

It’s never too late to adjust your account’s privacy settings and acting sooner rather than later could reduce the risk of having to block or delete a user in future.

Head to Your Space for tips on how to stay safe on social media, sexting advice and how to report someone’s online behaviour.

If you aren’t doing so already, learn about the key measures recommended to help maximise your online security. Click here for advice on choosing a password and managing software updates.


Online Hate Crime

What are hate incidents and hate crimes?

A ‘hate incident’ means any actions or words that are targeted at a person because of someone’s hostility or prejudice towards an aspect of the victim’s identity or characteristics. This could be because of someone’s disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, or transgender status, or another part of their identity which is important to them. When the actions or words also amount to a criminal offence, we call it a ‘hate crime’.

Anyone could be a victim of a hate incident or hate crime, and these are not defined by the intentions of the perpetrator. Instead, if the victim or person witnessing it believes or perceives that an incident was motivated by prejudice or hostility towards an aspect of the victim’s identity or characteristics, such as their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or transgender status, then it is treated and recorded as a hate incident.

Hate incidents and hate crimes take many forms, including abusive words, physical attacks, online comments, damage to property, bullying, or a campaign of harassment. Racism, homophobia, transphobia and targeting someone because of their religion are all examples of hate incidents and potentially hate crimes.

Hate incidents and hate crimes online

Hate incidents and hate crimes are not just things that happen in the outside world – they can happen online, too. In fact, this is becoming an increasing concern and it is something we need to challenge.

Common examples involve comments on social media that negatively target a person or a group because of their race, nationality, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, or because they are transgender. Derogatory comments, racist language, homophobic or transphobic comments, abusive language towards (or about) a person, or using negative stereotypes about a person or group – these can all cause you to feel upset, distressed and even angry. You might see these comments on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media site. You might also see them in the ‘comments’ section on news articles.

You don’t have to put up with them, even if they don’t directly target you. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have a way for you to quickly and easily report the person who made the comment, and it is important that you do this to help stop further damaging behaviour.

You can also report comments to our Hate Incident Support Service at Victim Support. We have dedicated, professional and understanding people there who can offer you free, confidential emotional and practical support if you feel that you need it. They can also help you to report the online hate incident to the right people and help us to stop it happening again.

• Email: sussexhateincidentreport@victimsupport.org.uk;
• Phone: 0808 168 9274 – this is a Freephone number.

Don’t put up with online hate – report it!

Advice and support

Cyber Aware

Cyber Aware (formerly Cyber Streetwise) aims to drive behaviour change amongst small businesses and individuals, so that they adopt simple secure online behaviours to help protect themselves from cyber criminals.

Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online is a joint initiative between the Government, the National Crime Agency, and public and private sector supporters from the world of technology, communication, retail and finance to raise awareness of internet security.

Action Fraud

Been a victim of cybercrime? Report it to Action Fraud.

Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials is a Government and industry-backed standard which protects your business against cyber threats.

Sussex Police

Sussex Police is responsible for policing the county of Sussex in southern England, report crime and incidents here.

Cyber Challenge UK

Cyber Security Challenge UK is a series of national competitions, learning programmes, and networking initiatives designed to identify, inspire and enable more people to become cyber security professionals.

Age UK West Sussex

Age UK offer activities in their centres across the county with some ‘Teach and Tech’ sessions run offering information and advice about tablets, phones and laptops.

O2 store experts

Did you know you can book an appointment with an NSPCC-trained O2 Guru?

Bring your devices with you and they'll be happy to answer your questions and set up your devices with parental controls. It's so simple!


Help with Staying Safe Online

Produced in partnership with the West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board, 'A guide to keeping your child safe online offers information and advice to parents & carers on factors that could help reduce the risk of being targeted by cyber criminals. These include: online behaviour, content suitability, parental controls, online relationships and how to report an issue.

Watch our video and learn how to set up parental controls:

Find a range of free online resources below to meet your security needs:

Information and Where to Report Cyber Aware leaflet AgeUK Internet Safety information Staying Safe Online presentation How to guide - Software Updates How to guide - Windows Updates The Little Book of Cyber Scams Parents' Online Safety guide Get Safe Online West Sussex Leaflet Hate Incident Poster Help with Staying Safe Online





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