Students in Dundee found themselves at the centre of a critical warning from e-Crime Scotland in The Courier on the dangers of cyber crime.
Education reporter, Grant Smith, warned that students need to stay vigiliant against cyber crime as they may find themselves targets after receiving their first loan or bursary instalments.
Gary Ritchie, assistant director at the Scottish Business Crime Centre, said that taking a few simple steps could protect students against the heartache and often serious consequences caused by the actions of cyber criminals.
He added: He added: “It’s common knowledge that students often have a spending splurge as soon as their loans or bursaries hit their bank accounts and they will no doubt make the most of their new social lives but they must tread carefully before making any ominous transactions or sharing their personal details.
“One of the biggest threats is identity theft which is now one of the fastest growing crimes in the United Kingdom and is costing victims over £1.3 billion annually.
“The problem is that students may not initially be concerned about identity theft as often they don’t consider themselves to have a lot of money or assets but what is overlooked is the fact that their names and reputation are equally valuable.
“It’s important to be cautious when using computers for online banking transactions, buying merchandise or storing personal information as this kind of sensitive information is gold dust to fraud committing thieves and the damage can seriously jeopardise your financial future.”
Tony Neate, Chief Executive at Get Safe Online’ said: “Cyber criminals unfortunately operate on a mass scale. How successful they are however depends largely on two factors: firstly how good we are at securing our computers; and secondly, how much we avoid risky activities and behaviours while we’re using the internet.
“Staying safe online doesn’t need to difficult though. Having an understanding of the potential scams, and taking the basic precautions that we recommend, can significantly improve their online safety without losing the benefits and enjoyment of the internet.”
IT security at Dundee University recently warned students about problems with people receiving spam-electronic junk mail.
They said: “we are aware users are reporting spam messages that appear to be from valid @dundee.ac.uk addresses and offer ‘recruitment opportunities.
“These messages can be safely ignored and deleted.”