Cyber crime

Three simple steps to protect yourself

Updated information from the National Cyber Security Centre

Hampshire Constabulary is working to support the National Crime Agency (NCA) and City Of London Police, who are leading on the response to the international co-ordinated Wanna Cry ransomware attack. Just taking a few simple steps can greatly increase your defences against ransomware. 

1. Use a strong password or passphrase
Use a minimum of 10 characters or a sentence of words that you will remember and include characters and symbols. Consider replacing letters with similar looking numbers (e.g. E = 3, A= @) or use words in a language other than English.

2. Install security software and make sure that it is up to date
Computers are generally set to do this automatically, but don’t ignore the prompts to update when they flash up, do it straight away.

3. Keep software and apps up to date
You will see notifications of updates as pop-ups or an alert on your app store, don’t ignore. These often contain security fixes so update as soon as possible.

4. Think about what information you put online
If you wouldn’t make it public knowledge in the real world don’t put it online. Cyber criminals search for info that could enable them to impersonate you online.

5. Verify who an email is from before responding
If it looks suspicious, delete or check with the sender, remember to use an independent means of contact. Don’t reply directly to the suspect email.

6. Never click on links in emails unless you are certain who it is from
These are generally just junk mail or could contain malicious software which could compromise your computer systems and your information.

7. Back up important information regularly
If you have important documents or photos which you wouldn’t want to lose, back these up on a memory stick, external hard-drive, or all three to be extra secure.

8. Don’t pass sensitive information over public Wi-fi
It can be easy for a criminal to access public Wi-fi with the intention of capturing usernames and passwords.

9. Consider encrypting confidential data
If you are sending confidential data or personal information, encrypting it will make it a lot more secure.

10. Promote good information security culture
If you work within a company or an organisation, making sure staff are aware of the risks and simple steps to take to protect against cyber threats can massively help protect your systems and your data.

11. Ask for help or report a cyber crime
Speak to a friend or family member or if you suspect a crime call Action Fraud or the Police.

Further advice and technical guidance can be found here:

If you have been affected by ransomware, please report it straight away via this link: