• Common cyber threats include phishing, keylogging and ad clicker
  • Cyber crime costs the global economy £265 billion a year
  • Invest in antivirus software and ignore unsolicited emails to stay safe

We spend a lot of our time surfing the web these days, with Nielsen reporting that the average Brit clocks up no fewer than 30 hours a month in online activities.

Given that we increasingly rely on the internet to do more things on a regular basis – such as shopping, paying the bills, keeping in touch and experiencing entertainment – it is important that we know how to stay safe online.

Read on for our tips on how to keep criminals at bay.

Common cyber threats

Being aware of the most common cyber threats posed to consumers is the first step in boosting your defences against this illegal activity. The National Crime Agency highlights the following as key activities:

  • Phishing: cyber criminals send fake emails requesting security information and personal details
  • Webcam manager: cyber criminals take over your webcam
  • File hijacker: cyber criminals seize your files and hold them to ransom
  • Keylogging: cyber criminals capture what you type on your keyboard
  • Screenshot manager: cyber criminals capture screenshots of your computer screen
  • Ad clicker: cyber criminals 'force' a user to click a specific link

Invest in antivirus software

Antivirus software is designed to put a virtual fortress around your computer, preventing malicious malware – described as a virus – from either corrupting or stealing personal data. We found this article offering an overview of some of the best anti-virus software for the year ahead.

Ignore and report 'dodgy' bank emails

No bank or card issuer will ever send you an email or text requesting that you send over personal and financial information via a website form. Ignore any correspondence and report the matter to your bank. Financial Fraud Auction UK has more on how to bank safely online.

Spam unsolicited emails

Most email providers offer sophisticated spamming technologies for free, reducing the need for you to put dodgy emails in the spam folder. Every now and again though, an email may get through these filters and arrive in your inbox. Never open unsolicited emails, or click onto the applications.

Boosting online privacy

Boosting your online privacy will go a long way in enhancing your experience of the web. This can be achieved in multiple ways, including using private/incognito browsers and reviewing the privacy settings of your social accounts.