Facts and Figures

An Internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world

Headlines from the National Crime Agency.

Cyber criminals seek to exploit human or security vulnerabilities in order to steal passwords, data or money directly. The most common cyber threats include:

  • Hacking – including of social media and email passwords
  • Phishing – bogus emails asking for security information and personal details
  • Malicious software – including ransomware through which criminals hijack files and hold them to ransom
  • Distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against websites – often accompanied by extortion
How much is lost on online shopping and auction fraud?   Source: Finder.com

In the first half of 2020 (1st January-30th June), there was a reported loss of £29.7 million attributed to online shopping and auction fraud. This works out as an average loss of £726 per case of fraud.

The reported losses from online shopping and auction fraud have been rising. In July 2020, the total reported losses for online fraud totalled £6.3 million, which is up 31% (£1.5 million) from the same month last year.

BBC

How President Trump took ‘fake news’ into the mainstream……

What began as a way to describe misinformation was quickly diverted into a propaganda tool. The BBC’s Dave Lee examines how “fake news” went mainstream – and where it might go next. This story is part of a series by the BBC on disinformation and fake news – a global problem challenging the way we share information and perceive the world around us.

The Mental Health Foundation

The online survey of British teenagers aged 13 to 19 was commissioned as part of Mental Health Awareness Week which this year has the theme of body image.

It found that almost one third (31 per cent) of teenagers felt ashamed in relation to their body image.

Four in ten teenagers (40 per cent) said images on social media had caused them to worry about body image.

More than a third of British teenagers (35 per cent) had stopped eating at some point or restricted their diets as a result of worrying about their body image

The above headlines show we are now in a world where stories can be spread on social media and through online sources faster than the printed word and often major news services. Often those stories are someone’s interpretation of what is going on or downright straight forward lies or subtle deceptions. We are surrounded by scams, and vulnerabilities like a desire for a Covid jab are exploited by criminals whose only concern is making money regardless of human cost.

Many adults struggle to ensure they do not fall for online scams and we all try to use our judgement, when able, on stories we hear. What then about our children? Many have not yet developed critical thinking skills and are less better equipped to deal with misinformation than life experienced adults. As part of our duty to safeguard children and provide them with the ability to differentiate between good and bad and many grey areas between, online safety advice plays an important part.

Conversations with our children both at home and in school is vital to help them understand that not all they see online is true. Providing them with the ability to cross reference, research, read other points of view, build resilience against peer pressure and take time to consider what they see online is a must.

SAFE Ltd. have engaged the services of Alan Earl who has worked with schools, parents, police and other agencies in the area of online safety since 2002. Find how to book or discuss your requirements on understanding reliability in the online world and other online safeguarding issues for young people by clicking on the below link.

Alan Earl – SAFE Ltd.

9th February 2021