Bendigo police have urged people to remain vigilant to the dangers associated with internet use.
The reminder came in light yesterday’s 10th annual Safer Internet Day, which promoted safer and more responsible use of online technology, social media platforms and mobile phones.
Cyber safety has become a pressing issue for police as more social media sites have been taken to court.
Senior Sergeant Craig Gaffee said the growth of social media had led to a range of matters being investigated on a daily basis.
“Social media is a big part of people’s lives and it’s become part of everyday police work,” he said.
A number of offensive Facebook pages, including “Bendigo’s Biggest Sluts”, have been investigated by police after complaints that the page had posted explicit photos of underage girls. On Friday police arrested a Golden Square man for allegedly using Facebook to groom a teenage boy for sex.
Sergeant Gaffee said the dangers of social media were an ongoing issue for police and society. “People have a right to feel safe and secure, wherever they are, including in cyberspace. People are becoming more aware that there are legal ramifications,” he said.
Charges of fraud and other matters of security were also becoming more common online, Sergeant Gaffee said. “We’re monitoring people’s safety and looking at fraud and credit card scams, there’s a lot of things that are out there we wouldn’t have even heard of 10 years ago,” he said.
Detective Inspector John Manley from Victoria Police’s E-Crime Squad said people needed to exercise caution when using the internet.
“You need to keep virus protection and other software on your home computer and mobile devices up-to-date and ensure that any Wifi network you are using is secured and protected by a strong password,” he said.
“It’s about using common sense – protect yourself from harmful malware and scams by only opening emails from people you know.
“If you don’t know who has sent the email it should be deleted immediately.”