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Villagers learn about cyber crime and how to beat the scammers

SA Updated
Villagers learn about cyber crime and how to beat the scammers

Devon and Cornwall Police Cyber Crime Protect Officer Steve Shepherd was welcomed to this year's Stokenham Parish Council Annual Meeting, where he brought attendees' attention to online security. 

"Would you send a postcard through the mail with all your personal information on it?" was the example given by Steve as he gave a presentation on how to stay safe online. 

Steve's aim was to raise awareness of cyber crime and to encourage people to follow Cyber Aware steps to protect their accounts online. 

When receiving e-mails, he urged people to "be curious, take a deep breath and not to respond immediately". He particularly stressed to not click on links and to report suspicious emails.

You can report suspicious emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and report suspicious texts to 7726.

When it came to passwords, Steve advised picking three random words, and adding in a number and a symbol such as an exclamation mark. 

Steve Shepherd said: “On average, a hacker can take seven seconds to break your seven-letter password. The minimum should be 12 characters and your email account is the most important password and must be completely unique to every other password.”

“The internet can be a force for good and can do fantastic things, just make sure you question and be careful.”

Steve pointed out that if it is free on the internet, don’t forget you are the product.

Stokenham Parish Council Chairman, Piers Spence said: “Stokenham Parish Council was pleased to host this presentation. We came away armed with an increased knowledge and I think we all went home to check our passwords." 

For further information and advice, check out the National Cyber Security Centre - www.ncsc.gov.uk ; Cyber Aware www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home.

Take Five to Stop Fraud - www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk and check if your email or phone number has been compromised in a data breach - www.haveibeenpwned.com

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