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Cyber Security - Staying Safe Online

February 2022

Presentation by Alan Coote (Security Consultant)

The Hobbies and Craft Group welcomed Alan Coote, Security Consultant, who gave a wonderful and very enlightening talk on Cybersecurity in the Home.

We have included below some really useful information which provides plain English/easy to understand advice for individuals and families from the National Cyber Security Centre.


If you would like any additional information then please contact:  

Cyberware 2022 (AC).jpg

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC: National Cyber Security Centre - NCSC.GOV.UK) cyber security offers individuals easy to understand advice to protect you and your family, and the technology you rely on.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security is the means by which individuals and organisations reduce the risk of being affected by cyber-crime.


Cyber security's core function is to protect the devices we all use (smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers), and the services we access online - both at home and work - from theft or damage. It's also about preventing unauthorised access to the vast amounts of personal information we store on these devices, and online.


Cyber security is important because smartphones, computers and the internet are now such a fundamental part of modern life, that it's difficult to imagine how we'd function without them. From online banking and shopping, to email and social media, it's more important than ever to take steps that can prevent cyber criminals getting hold of our accounts, data, and devices. 

Improve your online security today

From banking to shopping, and streaming to social media, people are spending more time than ever online.


This means more opportunities for hackers to carry out cyber-attacks. They often do this by targeting people and businesses using:

  • email and website scams

  • malware - software that can damage your device or let a hacker in


If hackers get into your device or accounts, they could access your money, your personal information, or information about your business.


You can improve your cyber security by taking six actions:


  1. Use a strong and separate password for your email

  2. Create strong passwords using 3 random words

  3. Save your passwords in your browser

  4. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)

  5. Update your devices

  6. Back up your data


As well as the six Cyber Aware actions, the NCSC has provided further guidance for those looking to stay secure online.


The NCSC top tips are:

Protect your email by using a strong and separate password - Cyber criminals can use your email to access many of your personal accounts, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft.

Install the latest software and app updates - Software and app updates contain vital security updates to help protect your devices from cyber criminals.

Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) - Two-factor authentication is recommended to help protect your online accounts.

Password managers: how they help you secure passwords - Using a password manager can help you create and remember passwords.


Backing up your data - Safeguard your most important data, such as your photos and key documents, by backing them up to an external hard drive or a cloud-based storage system.

Three random words - Use three random words to create a single password that's difficult to crack. 

Dealing with common cyber problems

Advice for these common issues:

I have been hacked. How do I recover my account?

Gmail, Facebook, Twitter... it doesn't matter what the service is, from time to time someone will find a way in.

If one of your accounts has been hacked, don't worry, we have a step-by-step guide to help you regain control and protect yourself against future attacks.

Should I pay a ransom to unlock my computer?

If your device has become infected with ransomware, you are encouraged not to pay the ransom.

If you do pay:

  • There is no guarantee that you will get access to your data or computer

  • your computer will still be infected

  • you will be paying criminal groups

  • you're more likely to be targeted in the future

Read the NCSC advice on removing viruses and malware from your device.


My username and password have been stolen

Personal credentials, such as usernames and passwords, can be stolen directly from you by criminals using tricks such as phishing emails. They can also be stolen by hackers from the services you use, if they suffer a data breach. 

If you suspect either has happened, you should change your password as soon as possible.

If you have used the same password on any other accounts, you should change it there too.

Services such as can tell you if your information has ever been made public in a major data breach, and even alert you if it happens in the future.

I might have malware on my device

If you believe your laptop, PC, tablet or phone has been infected with a virus or some other type of malware, there are steps you can take.

Follow our guide to remove viruses and restore your device.


I've received a suspicious email or text

Scam emails and texts are a problem for everyone. They're getting more convincing day by day.

Read our advice on spotting and dealing with suspicious emails, calls and texts.


I am worried that my banking details have been stolen

  • Contact your bank or building society and speak to their fraud department.

  • Your bank will not ask you to reply to an e-mail with personal information, or details about your account. If you contact them, use a phone number/email address you have found yourself, rather than one sent to you in the email – it may be false.

  • You can check your credit reference file online. You should follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.

For more guidance on protecting yourself from cyber-enabled fraud, please visit Take Five.

Take Five is a national campaign offering straight-forward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

Protecting your data and devices

Below are a range of articles from the NCSC website that will help you learn about how to protect your data and devices.

Data breaches: guidance for individuals and families

How to protect yourself from the impact of data breaches


Buying and selling second-hand devices

How to erase the personal data from your phone, tablets, and other devices (and why it's important when you're buying and selling them).


'Smart' security cameras: Using them safely in your home

How to protect 'smart' security cameras and baby monitors from cyber-attack.


Securing your devices

How to ensure your devices are as secure as possible.


Video conferencing services: using them securely

How to set up and use video conferencing services, such as Zoom and Skype, safely and securely


5G explainer

A summary of what 5G is, how it will affect the UK and how the NCSC is helping to secure it.


Online gaming for families and individuals

How to enjoy online gaming securely by following just a few tips


Shopping online securely

How to shop safely online.


What is an antivirus product? Do I need one?

Detect and prevent malicious software and viruses on your computer or laptop.


Social Media: how to use it safely

Use privacy settings across social media platforms to manage your digital footprint.


Sextortion emails: how to protect yourself

Advice in response to the increase in sextortion scams


Smart devices: using them safely in your home

Many everyday items are now connected to the internet: we explain how to use them safely.

For further support, Citizen's Advice provide advice and support on online fraud. You can call their dedicated helpline or talk to someone online.

Get help from Citizen's Advice here.

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