Keep Secure Online
With so much of our daily routine now online; banking, shopping, social networking to name but a few, criminals are increasingly going online to exploit people in various ways.
As part of Police Scotland’s continued programme to help deliver Safer Virtual Communities, the education on the internet and online safety is a recognised and integral part of our commitment to continue to work with partners and local policing divisions in protecting members of the public whilst online.
Raising awareness of potential online crimes and providing the Scottish public with key prevention advice on how to keep important information secure and reduce the risk of becoming a victim, will go a long way in protecting you within the cyber world.
To help keep yourself safe, here are a few golden rules to follow.
- Be careful online – use a secure browser and only insert card details if the padlock icon is visible
- Do not divulge personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call
- Never enter personal information into a pop-up screen
- Never email personal or financial information, even if you are close with the recipient
- Protect your devices by installing anti-virus software on them all and ensure they are up to date
Remember: If it’s illegal offline it is illegal online.
This includes posting anything that promotes crime, violence or drug misuse. This also includes threats made against you or attempts to force you to pay money or do something to prevent your personal information or images being posted elsewhere on the internet or forwarded to others. This activity is often linked to footage taken using webcams, known as Online Webcam Extortion.
Whether you are a young person, parent, older person, self-employed, or work within either private, public or third sector industries the following links on this page will provide up to date and relevant information and advice around living our lives online and how you can do that safely and spot when things may not be what they seem.
Should you wish further advice then contact either your local Safer Community Department or the National Safer Community Department by dialling 101.
How can I keep my child safe online?
For more information about how to keep your child safe online, who can help and where you can report inappropriate, illegal or indecent images involving children, visit CEOP - Keep your Child Safe Online.
What if I find illegal images on the web?
Find out how to report illegal website images and content here.
Where can I get more information about keeping safe online?
For more information about how to use the internet safely and securely, visit
Stop It Now! UK and Ireland is at the forefront of activity to prevent child sexual abuse. Campaigning and awareness raising are essential tasks for local, regional and national projects in order to empower and enable adults to address personal, family and community concerns.
CEOP website for Internet Safety advice, help or how to make a report.
Thinkuknow features films, learning activities and resources help children and young people keep themselves safe from sexual abuse and exploitation.
Get Safe Online offers free expert personal and business advice.
Cyber Aware's aim is to make good cyber security habits second nature, not an afterthought, for individuals and small businesses.
respectme is Scotland's anti-bullying service and features information online safety and cyberbullying.
Choices for Life is a joint Police Scotland and Young initiative aimed at raising awareness amongst young people aged 11-18, about the dangers of smoking, alcohol and drugs as well as online safety.
The Scottish Business Resilience Centre is a unique organisation comprising contributions and secondments from Police Scotland, Scottish Government, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, major banks, industries, investors and private membership with the aim of providing businesses with a 'one stop shop' for business security and advice.
Childnet International, a non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.
UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading organisations: SWGfL, Childnet International and Internet Watch Foundation with one mission - to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people.
Internet Matters is a not-for-profit organisation that has a simple purpose – to help keep children safe in the digital world.
No More Ransom with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.
Keeping People Safe in the Digital World
Keeping People Safe in the Digital World is Police Scotland's cyber strategy. It sets out our objectives to make sure that we are equipped with the right tools, and our people to have the right skills and support, to meet the demands placed on a future focused police service. Our objectives are:
- Police Scotland Resilience: Ensuring that Police Scotland is resilient and able to respond to shifting threats.
- Public Health, Prevention and Partnership: Working holistically and sustainably to prevent cybercrime by developing a public health approach and working effectively with partners.
- Investigation of Criminality: Making Scotland a challenging place for cyber criminals to operate by increasing our visibility in the physical and virtual world.
- Protecting and Safeguarding: Ensuring that our focus on protecting and safeguarding those at most risk of harm continues to be at the forefront of all we do.