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Archived News - Internet

Safer Internet Day - Feb 5th

This article was published in January 2013. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Bedfordshire PoliceAre you a parent, guardian or someone looking after children and concerned about online safety? Then join Bedfordshire Police on Tuesday 5th February at the next international Safer Internet Day (SID) being hosted by Bedford Girls School.

The theme of the day is 'Online rights and responsibilities' and this will be the 10th anniversary of the event.

The FREE session at 7pm Cardington Road in Bedford, is for all parents, guardians or anyone who works with or cares for children and young people, from anywhere in the county.

Led by Bedfordshire Police Children and Young People Development Officer Richard Denton, it is designed to cover all areas of internet safety with practical tips and advice for everyone. Throughout the day the force's 10 top tips for staying safe online will also be sent through Bedfordshire Police twitter feed. Similar events will also be run in Luton and Central Beds over the coming months.

Richard Denton said: "During the last twelve months we have run workshops for over 10,000 children across Bedfordshire looking at issues from unwanted contact, cyber-bullying and indecent images. We have also had the opportunity to run sessions for almost 1000 parents, guardians and other professionals who work with young people."

"The Internet is a fantastic tool and the majority of the time it is a beneficial, fun and educational resource. We just want everyone to apply common sense and a few simple safety measures when using it that is all. Think about who you are talking to, the information you share and how you can maintain your privacy. Keeping children and young people safe online will remain a very important area of work for Bedfordshire Police."

To book a place, please email [email protected] Spaces are limited and will be issued on a first come first serve basis.

To get up to date advice about staying safe online visit If you are concerned about any content or activity on your child's internet and social networking sites then please contact Bedfordshire Police by calling 101.

For more information on Safer Internet Day go to

Bedfordshire Police's top 10 Internet safety tips are:

  1. Visit to find out more about keeping safe online.
  2. Look at installing security products that allow parents / carers to block certain websites, implement time limits and monitor activity.
  3. Help your children to understand they should never give out personal details to online friends they do not know offline.  
  1. Explain to your children what information about them is personal: i.e. email address, mobile number, school name, sports club. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight in to their lives and daily activities.
  1. Make your children aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Inform them that once published online, anyone can change or share these images of them.
  1. It can be easy to forget that the internet is not a private space, and as a result young people sometimes engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they would not want a parent or carer to see.
  1. If your child receives spam or junk email and texts, remind them never to believe their contents, reply to them or use them.
  1. It's not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don't know. They won't know what they contain—it could be a virus, or worse – an inappropriate image or film.
  1. Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it's better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with strangers.
  1. Always keep communication open for a child to know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.

A further resource recommended by Alice Johnson is O2's keeping kids safe website.

Thames Valley Police - Community Messaging

This article was published in January 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

RingmasterWatch members are continuing to report cold calls from a company, telling them that their computer is at risk, asking them to turn it on immediately, so that the caller can 'fix' the problem for them, for a fee.

Trading standard's advice is:-

  • Do not deal with cold callers.
  • Never give personal information over the telephone to cold callers.
  • Never give passwords or credit cards and bank details over the telephone to unknown callers.

A resident had two calls yesterday from a security company, claiming to be doing a NHW survey and offering security systems for £1. When the resident identified themself as being a NHW co-ordinator the caller quickly made their excuses and terminated the call.

Any alarm or security systems at such a low cost may well have a heavy monthly monitoring fee and large cancellation costs.

Source: Ringmaster Bedfordshire

The International Routing System scam

This article was published in July 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

International Routing SystemIt appears that a number of people have received calls from someone claiming to be from the International Routing System. This company does not exist, and the caller is trying to scam you into either installing infected software, or else to give them your credit card details.

Either put the phone down immediately, or else laugh at every statement they make as it is pure fiction.

Source: The International Routing System scam

Millions of BT internet users 'open to hackers'?

This article was published in May 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Computer WiFiYou may have seen this recent sensational headline in The Daily Telegraph. As usual, the truth is a little different from the headline.

The article states that 'Criminals could use software easily downloaded from the internet to crack passwords and change settings on the company's popular Home Hub system in as little as five seconds, experts warned. One specialist stated that customers could be living in a "false paradise"'.

The reality is that BT home hubs are usually delivered to home users with a security setting known as WEP switched on. Unfortunately the ability to crack WEP security has been known for some time, but it does require knowledge, special tools and the "hacker" to be situated within physical range of your BT home hub.

The fact that the hacker needs to be physically within range of your BT home hub (i.e. a few tens of metres away) means that the risk of someone taking the time to do this is very small, so there is no need to panic.

To remedy this small risk by changing a setting on your BT home hub is very simple, and details of how to do it are explained on BT's help page at You may also need to update any wireless devices connected to the BT home hub.