Learning about cybercrime together

What is Cybercrime Risk?

This month the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour considered cybercrime risk. In conclusion Cybercrime risk is the potential threat of a person or thing that is likely to cause damage by exploiting a vulnerability (a flaw, feature or use error) that may result in a negative impact.

Coping with threats and dealing with our fears

Threats can be general like scam emails sent out in large quantities in the hope that recipients might respond or can be target specifically at you. Cybercrime has many different motives often money or data, but sometimes can be more sinister such as entrapment or revenge. Everyone seems to be bombarded with junk email and nuisance calls these days, and the workshop concluded it is good to share the burden, learn more about the threats we all face and get support together.

What are the vulnerabilities that expose us to cybercrime?

There are 3 areas to examine: Networks, Devices and People.

  • Everyone uses a network connection to access the internet whether that is via a LAN Cable, WiFi router or mobile data connection. Each method will have security built into the hardware, but not all of us know how to use it or have access to the security controls.
  • All digital devices have security built into their operating systems, making sure it is used, updated regularly as well as having it personal data backup are the basics of minimise risk.
  • The greatest potential for risk is ourselves, a lack of knowledge, forgetfulness, carefree or risky behaviours increases exposure to cybercrime threats. Or simply making a mistake which we are all prone to do many times in our lives.

Criminals rely on this. Hence the term “Phishing” scam emails are literally criminals fishing for people with hope to net an unsuspecting victim. Often posing as your ISP, PayPal, Apple, Microsoft, or Amazon suggesting there is a problem with your account or are offering a refund (“a carrot or stick”). The “hook” is the internet link in email which delivers the malware onto your device. If you click on the link you are “caught” and the damage is done.

If you want to learn more and help others please join the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour held monthly for more information see the GTT Upcoming Events, Cybercrime Vigilance and Student Area on this website.

GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour

GTT launched the Cybercrime Vigilance project with the support of the West Yorkshire Police Community Safety Fund. GTT hosts regular monthly workshops to discuss, share information, and learn about cybercrime prevention. It is a continual challenge for everyone as new technology develops.

The aims of the GTT Cybercrime Prevention Hour workshops will explore and collaborate to develop on going shared resources. GTT encourages everyone to Participate, Learn, Achieve, and Innovate together

  • What is Cybercrime? How do we identify cybercrime risks?
  • What impact does cybercrime have on victims?
  • Looking statistics and unreported crime, how common is cybercrime?
  • The fear of crime – how safe do we feel?
  • Managing behaviours and risk – How do I use my technology?
  • Review my risk controls – what I am doing? is it good enough? What should I be doing?
  • Training in good practice and developing good habits

It is free to join the workshop book a place by contacting GTT or via Event Brite.

The “New Normal” of Life Online – Be afraid or be confident, the choice is yours

How often do you hear people say things like this?

  • “I don’t mind going on the internet, but I am not banking or shopping online, I am frightened of losing my money.”
  • “I get so much junk and dodgy emails; I am sick of using my tablet.”
  • “I am worried about what my children are doing online, there are so many scary stories.”
  • “I have heard a lot about bullying and hateful things being said on the internet, I don’t want to be exposed to any of it.”

When you are frightened you often can not see the difference between FEAR and RISK. We can all be frightened, and it prevents us looking at the real risk or threat.

To avoid any irrational fear, you need to know whether you really have anything to worry about. How likely can something bad happen? What are the consequences of something bad happening?

In life when we overcome our fear or live through something terrible, we can reflect on this experience and sometime see the positive outcomes. I like to think of this has “the school of hard knocks”.

Since the COVID19 pandemic we have all been forced out of our comfort zone by doing more things online, whether that is work, schooling, meet friends, paying bills, arrange doctor’s appointments, shopping, and entertainment.

Get Technology Together (GTT) with the support of West Yorkshire Police Community Safety Fund has launched “Cybercrime Vigilance”, to help people understand the real threat to citizens living an online life today. GTT has been running community classes and help people get the most out their technology for many years, and has learnt that there are some simple rules to follow when being online that can dramatically reduce your risk to being a victim of crime. GTT is asking for you help to participate in exploring cybercrime threats to develop affordable strategies to help you and your family stay safe online. Please contact GTT if you want more information on how to be involved in “Cybercrime Vigilance”.

Drighlington Digital an Internet Café in your own home

It is a challenge to adjust to social distancing, which has become our “New Normal”, but thankfully technology can provide some solutions.  

Our popular group, Drighlington Digital, runs sessions to help people get the most out of their technology.  Usually they take place at the Methodist Church but at present the group is meeting online.  The group quickly adapted to the daily changes in our lives and started experimenting with online video calling such as Skype, Facetime, and WhatsApp.  The group uses Zoom, an App which was relatively unknown before we had a lockdown, to meet up online every Thursday from 10am to 12pm.  Zoom is easy to use, and many people can join in.

It is a friendly group, and everyone is welcome. To get involved you do need an internet connection in your own home, or enough data on your smartphone.   If you do not have a smartphone, tablet, or a laptop, please contact Get Technology Together on 07754 391498 and they may be able to lend you a laptop!

The group has been sharing tips about online shopping, entertainment, exercise, garden and decorating.  It is also a place to receive help with technical issues like setting up printers and connecting TVs and HiFi systems and even piano lessons!

Please feel free to come and share your technology woes and tips with us online. Everyone learns something new.  If you are concerned about nosey participants checking out your wallpaper or bookshelves you can play with different backgrounds on Zoom and even pretend you are on a sunny beach.

One of regular participants who lives alone said, “Getting familiar with video chatting online has changed my life since the lockdown.  I am in touch with family and friends several times a week”

After a few weeks everyone is relaxed and confident. Chatting online becomes very natural, in fact the “New Normal”.

Drighlington Digital now has a Facebook Page, if you are on Facebook please “Like” our page and find out more.

UK Governement Leaflet Coronavirus

Using technology to manage a crisis

GTT has been forced to close many Digital Access Points as a result of the public health emergency in the UK. Tutors are working towards providing more support via telephone, email, VoIP, and social media groups. GTT tutors are getting together online to work how send out broadcast online.

Please check the calendar links on the website home page for the latest information about closures. In the meantime feel free to contact GTT via the contact page, telephone or email.

Never to late to wish everyone Happy New Year

It seems a while ago now, but before Christmas I popped into the Richmond Hill Community Centre, to take part in their GTT session.

I found an invaluable community resource helping people to brush up their digital skills, build confidence, meet others and participate in a learning environment.
People came along with different abilities and needs, yet it all seemed to work, and everyone got something from the session.

One person was in the process of learning to video call his overseas relatives using Skype. Another to navigate a new Smartphone and to use text messenger (SMS) for the very first time! More experienced users came along for help with specific issues.

While the session was led by an experienced facilitator what was also evident was the level of informal Peer Support. People with more experience were helping those with less. This is great as it can be empowering for both the learner and the helper.

Feel free to come along to the new drop-in sessions starting running every Monday from 11am to 1pm. Everyone is welcome at the Richmond Hill Community Centre, Long Close Lane, Leeds, LS9 8NP

Article written by GTT Volunteer, Vicky.

Drighlington Digital

The Digital Access Point at Drighlington now enters its enter it’s second year. This year offering technology life skills sessions each week alongside the Digital Access Point. The project has been very popular. GTT is now partnering up with the Drighlington Methodist Church to launch 2 new projects “Staying Well at Winter” and “Stepping Out” both of these project aim to help the local community by bring people together to meet socialise and learn a bit more about how to get the best out of their technology in a friendly comfortable community space.

Anyone can drop-in and bring their own devices or use our laptops to access the free WiFi on site. The Coffee Pot Café is always open when the sessions are running and many people stay afterwards to join in the games session which include cards, darts, table tennis and a quiz every week.

The project has just launched its Drighlington Digital Facebook Page  and you can visit and post messages.

2018-2019 a Very Successful Year at Northfield Community Center

Today GTT and Northfield Community celebrate a very successful Year, helping the Community Center user to be more confident with their Technology.

A year in which, we have been able to impart Technological and practical knowledge to the community users, to help the connect, communicate and safe money online.

From the Northfield Community Center, we would like to say a big thank you to all who helped and contributed for this project to become a reality.

David masters his Apple Mac at Leodis Grid

David, a regular attendee at the weekly drop-in, gave me a big smile, as we started chatting.  He’s been attending the weekly computer sessions at the Lincoln Green Community Centre for around six months.

He came along to the sessions for help to ‘get to know’ his new Apple Mac laptop.  Having previously owned an older Apple computer, he thought it would be similar, but told me “they are as different as me and you!”

He warmly credits the tutors at the centre for their help and tuition. He now feels much more skilled and confident in using his laptop.

He mainly uses it for photography, to edit and save photographs, which is his life-long hobby.  He began taking photos as a teenager with a Box Camera, which had only eight exposures on a film!  He likens this older technology to a Mini whereas, he says, “digital photography is a Rolls Royce.”  In the past he was employed as a wedding photographer. He also enjoyed taking pictures of stamps but says this activity belongs to a bygone era, people aren’t as interested in stamps anymore.   Now his favourite subjects are landscapes, flowers and insects.

Another compelling reason for David to attend the sessions is the sense of community at the centre.  He tells me that it’s a welcoming atmosphere where he’s made friendly acquaintances, is greeted with a cup of tea as soon as he arrives and buys a cheap lunchtime meal.



One of David’s beautiful photographs of Roundhay Park, showing beautiful reflections in the lake,  Thank you David.