What is cyber-crime?

The term ‘cyber-crime’ refers to a variety of crimes carried out online through websites, apps, message boards and social networks.

Cyber-crime refers to crimes that can only be committed via the internet – such as stealing confidential information that’s stored online.


Other crimes which are carried out online but could also be committed without the use of the internet, such as grooming, stalking or harassment, bullying and financial or romance fraud, are called cyber-enabled crimes.

Cyber-crime is hard to deal with because criminals’ identities can be hidden and criminals can be thousands of miles away but still commit crimes against you.

If you’re looking for help and advice around anything to do with cyber-crime, Voice can help. It’s free to talk to us and completely confidential.

How to protect yourself online:

To reduce the likelihood of falling victim to cyber-crimes, ensure you:

  • have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your devices;
  • always use strong passwords incorporating capital letters, special characters and numbers;
  • use secure websites when shopping, where the address begins with https. Check to see if a tiny locked padlock symbol appears at the bottom right of the checkout screen, or that there is a statement on the checkout screen stating that the pages are secure with a security technology vendor; and
  • never click on links in emails that have been sent to you by a business you don’t know. If you want to view the link to check it, open a separate web browser window and visit the website directly.

What can I do if I’ve experienced cyber-crime?

If you have been a victim of any type of crime, the first thing you should do is report it to the police. If you have an emergency, call 999. In situations that are not an emergency, call 101.

If you have had fraud happen to you, such as identity theft, contact Action Fraud either online or on 0300 123 2040. In this case, you should also contact your bank to let them know, and possibly to cancel any credit or debit cards. You should also run and online credit check, to see if someone has applied for any credit in your name, so you can stop this.

If you’re unsure of next steps and what you should do, talk to Voice. We can help you determine what needs to be done, and help you do it.