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Cyber Security

What is cyber security?

Cyber security is the practice of ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of information.

Cyber security refers to the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access.​

This include preventing:​


What are the threats?


Cybercriminals are generally working for financial gain. Most commonly, for the purposes of fraud: either selling illegally gained information to a third party. Key methods used include:



Hacktivists will generally take over public websites or social media accounts to raise the profile of a particular cause. Attacks denial of service (DoS) – when a system, service or network is burdened to such an extent by an electronic attack that it becomes unavailable).​


Steps you can take to help reduce the risk of a cyber security incident:

Tell-tale signs of a phishing email​

Keep passwords strong and secure


Keep your devices secure

Install system updates

The apps and software you use will have flaws in their systems. Hackers can exploit some of these flaws, leading to security problems. When these flaws are found, the manufacturers will normally fix them and send the fix out as a patch or as part of an update. Hackers rely on you to ignore those update notifications so they can get in before the update is made – so don't give them the chance.

Use a screen lock

This can be a PIN, password, biometric (fingerprint or facial recognition) or pattern. Pick any one of these that you can stick with. Some are better than others security-wise, but any is better than none!

Be aware of your surroundings

Be aware of others around you who might be overlooking your screen or listening in to your conversations. Consider using privacy screens, particularly if you're regularly using devices on the move.

Reporting incidents

Act quickly: the sooner you report an incident, the quicker it can be resolved and the less damage it will cause.

Don't be afraid: even if you think you caused an incident, always report it. Cyber incidents can be difficult to spot and mistakes do happen – letting someone know will help to limit the damage.

If you think you might have been a victim of cyber crime, please visit the Action Fraud website or contact them on 0300 123 2040.

For further advice on online fraud support, visit the Citizen's Advice website, call their dedicated helpline on telephone 0808 250 5050 or talk to someone online. 

Further guidance

For further information and resources about cyber security visit the National Cyber Security Centre website.

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