A common-sense approach to using the internet

Keywords: Network crime

Illustration: Cybercrime
(Photo: Keystone / Maurizio Gambarini)

Most of us use the internet on a daily basis, both at home and at work. We manage our bank accounts, buy goods online, send e-mails, chat and exchange confidential information. Computers, mobile phones and tablets have become an essential part of our lives and thanks to these new technologies the possibilities are practically boundless.

However, not everyone who uses the internet has good intentions. There are also people who use the web for criminal purposes; to hack computers, steal personal data and extort money. And their methods are becoming ever more sophisticated.

To protect yourself from becoming a victim of cybercrime, use common sense when on the internet and follow a few basic rules:

  • Be wary
    Don’t believe everything you find on the internet or read in e-mails even if the sender’s logo or design appears familiar. Serious companies never request confidential information via e-mail! Be wary of tempting offers and disclose as little as possible about yourself.
  • If in doubt, do without
    If you’re not convinced an advertisement or website is trustworthy, it’s better to do without a tempting offer than fall victim to a scam.
  • Never click on a link or open an e-mail attachment from an unknown sender
    If in doubt, ask the real sender whether they have sent you an e-mail with an attachment.
  • Protect your computer
    Update your programmes at regular intervals, in particular your computer’s anti-virus programme and operating system.

Are you a victim of computer crime?

If you are in imminent danger to life or limb contact the next police station or call the emergency number 117.

If you wish to report suspicious matter on the internet to fedpol, complete the online reporting form. Specialists will check your information, take the necessary measures if possible and forward the case where appropriate to the authorities responsible.

You can find the latest information on the website of the Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance MELANI.

Further information



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