Close up of someone typing on a laptop keyboard.

Cyber security is important because smartphones, computers and the internet are now such a fundamental part of modern life that it’s difficult to imagine how we’d function without them. From online banking and shopping, to email and social media, it’s more important than ever to take steps that can help prevent cyber criminals getting hold of our accounts, data, and devices.

Cyber security’s core function is to protect the devices we all use (smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers), and the services we access – both online and at work – from theft or damage. It’s also about preventing unauthorised access to the vast amounts of personal information we store on these devices, and online.

Actions you can take to stay secure online

  • Use a strong password for your email. It should be different from all your other passwords. Your email is where you keep your most personal and financial information. You could combine three random words that each mean something to you to create a password that’s ‘long enough and strong enough’.
  • Install the latest software and app updates. Applying security updates promptly will help protect your devices and accounts from cyber criminals.
  • Turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV). Turning on 2SV is one of the most effective ways to protect your online accounts from cyber criminals.
  • Use browsers and apps to safely store your passwords. You could get a password manager, or save them to your browser.
  • Back up your data. Make sure you can recover your important photos, documents, and other personal data stored on your IT equipment.

Further information and resources

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides cyber security advice to protect you and your family, and the technology you rely on – visit Cyber Aware to find out more.

If you think you might have been a victim of cyber crime, visit Action Fraud or contact them on 0300 123 2040.

For further support, Citizens Advice provide advice and support on online fraud. You can call their consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133 or chat to someone online.