RESIDENTS and businesses are being urged by the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner to stay vigilant to avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime.

PCC Martyn Underhill has voiced his support of the government’s £4million Cyber Streetwise campaign which encourages people to take safety precautions while shopping, banking or socialising online.

More than 50 per cent of the population are not taking simple actions to protect themselves online, according to findings from the government’s most recent National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker.

Martyn Underhill said: “I welcome this new government initiative. Cyber-crime is a growing threat in Dorset and people need to be better informed against the risks of using their computer or smartphone.

“I would urge businesses and residents to visit the website and take note of the advice.”

The research highlights that 57 per cent do not always check websites are secure before making a purchase and less than a third regularly use complex passwords to protect online accounts.

Installing anti-virus software, using strong, memorable passwords, changing privacy settings and checking the security of online retail sites can help protect from cyber crime.

Martyn Underhill has already pledged to help tackle online crime in Dorset in 2014.

His proposals would help fund a new cyber-crime initiative to raise awareness of the crime and better inform residents and businesses on how to protect themselves from online threats.

The launch of the government campaign is part of the National Cyber Security Programme and comes at a time as an increasing number of people use the web.

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