Although the chances of you experiencing a crime may be relatively low, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of it happening.
From guarding your personal data online to securing your home, there are loads of things you can do to keep your property and yourself safe.
However, if you don’t feel safe and would like to talk to someone about how you feel, talk to us.
It’s not uncommon to feel intimidated when out and about on your own at night or within places that are unfamiliar. To maximise your chances of staying safe, you can:
- make travel plans in advance and let those close to you know where you’re going and who with;
- remain within well-lit, busy areas and keep close to your group if you feel unsafe;
- only book licensed taxis in advance, or by hailing a Hackney Carriage black cab from the street – never accept lifts from strangers or unlicensed cabs;
- always carry a personal safety alarm, just in case something goes wrong;
- stay alert and aware of your surroundings, and think twice about listening to music on headphones when alone;
- put your valuables in different places; try and keep them in different areas of your bag or alternate pockets; and
- contact the British Transport Police if you feel unsafe on public transportation.
Staying safe online
The internet is an intrinsic part of our everyday lives. This makes it more important than ever to keep in mind some basic safety tips when you’re online in order to avoid falling victim to cybercrime.
To stay safe online, make sure you:
- turn on your computer’s firewall and install regularly-updated antivirus protection;
- if any strange emails arrive in your inbox, don’t open them – delete them immediately;
- change your passwords regularly and only use long passwords that include a variety of characters, numbers and symbols. Never give your password to anyone else;
- only shop online if the store is trusted, and do your research when booking holidays to ensure the company is legitimate;
- look for the padlock symbol in the web address bar of your browser when shopping or banking online; if it isn’t there, leave the site immediately;
- block your children from unsavoury or illegal websites by turning on an adult block; and
- keep an eye on your children if they’re using social media or online chat sites. Talk to them about online safety and ask their school if there are cyber safety classes they can attend.
Worried about online fraud?
If you think you might be vulnerable to online fraud, you can apply for Cifas, which adds another layer of security when you purchase goods online or in store.
It’s also worth contacting credit reference agencies to tell them about your fraud concerns, because they’ll be able to provide assistance in reviewing your credit report and help you identify troublesome entries and rectify issues.
Credit agencies can also offer the option to password protect your credit file, so retailers and lenders have to request access before reviewing your credit report. This adds an extra layer of protection against online fraud.
There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK, and even though they share much of the same information, there are times where their use of it differs, resulting in a different credit score and report. We recommend contacting all three to ensure your credit rating isn’t impacted by fraudulent activity:
The three credit agencies to contact are:
Keeping your home safe
Feeling unsafe in your own home can have a huge impact on your life. Thankfully, there are some relatively simple things you can do to protect your home without external assistance:
- lock all doors and windows to stop opportunistic thieves;
- keep all valuables out of sight – especially car keys, laptops, and jewellery;
- don’t alert burglars that you’ve gone away; leave the curtains open (if you have blinds behind them that can be left closed), and use timers to turn on your radio and lights to make it look like someone’s home;
- consider extra security such as CCTV, security lights and alarms; and
- don’t hide your keys in obvious places, and ensure ladders are locked away, out of sight.