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Cybercrime Awareness Clinic

Based in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the clinic has provided cybercrime awareness advice since 2017

The Cybercrime Awareness Clinic is based in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. The clinic provides cybercrime awareness advice to individuals, community groups, schools, colleges and small and medium organisations (SMEs, including businesses, charities and non-profit organisations) in Portsmouth and the surrounding area, as well as conducting research into cybercrime awareness and prevention.

In April 2020, we published a Victims of Computer Misuse report, commissioned by the Home Office. Read the executive summary.

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Staying safe online

Originally published during the pandemic, the Cybercrime Awareness Clinic has produced a wide range of advice and tips to protect against cybercrime.

Launched in 2017, the Cybercrime Awareness Clinic began as a 2-year project funded by Hampshire Constabulary. The project aimed to develop and pilot an innovative research and collaboration space to help raise awareness of cybercrime among the local community and organisations, and help them build resilience to it.

The project had 3 main strands:

  • to provide advice to vulnerable groups in the local Portsmouth community, focusing mainly on young people in schools and colleges, small and medium organisations (SMOs) and older people (60+)
  • to increase the knowledge of the cybercrime threats and risks that relate to the above populations and assist the police in providing a more efficient and tailored response to local cybercrime
  • to develop a transferable model for the implementation of cybercrime awareness clinics in other parts of the country.

You can find out more about the results of our initial pilot project by downloading and reading our report.

If you would like further information in relation to the transferable model for the implementation of cybercrime awareness clinics, please contact us, as we are able to offer advice, training and consultancy services.

We were proud to win in the Cyber Awareness category of the National Cyber Awards 2020, sponsored by the National Police Chiefs' Council.

The National Cyber Awards aim to reward those who are committed to cyber innovation, cyber crime reduction and protecting the citizen online. Read more about the National Cyber Awards.

The National Cyber Awards winner 2020 image

Current activities

Advice and training to local community groups and organisations

The Cybercrime Awareness Clinic provides advice and training to members of the public, community groups, schools, colleges and SMOs in Portsmouth and the surrounding area, to raise awareness of and build resilience to cybercrime. Please contact us for further details of these services.

Student Placements

The Cybercrime Awareness Clinic is an optional module of the BSc (Hons) Criminology and Cybercrime degree, providing hands-on practical opportunities for students to become involved in clinic activities, contributing to student learning and employability.

Research and Innovation

Cybercrime Awareness Clinic staff are currently engaged in research at national and international levels:

  • Cyber Clinics is a two-year National Cyber Security Centre-funded project providing cybercrime awareness guidance to SMEs and support to organisations that want to develop similar initiatives locally across the country. The project will also conduct research with SMEs at a national level in order to assess common cybersecurity behaviours and contribute to the development of more efficient and tailored cybercrime awareness advice, which will improve prevention and incident response mechanisms, in collaboration with the NCSC.
  • ORPHEUS is a three-and-a-half-year project co-funded by Interreg 2Seas, developing new integrated and aligned services for online and offline prevention of political violence by extending prevention services with private and social institutions, with young people and their educators as central actors.
  • Understanding Moral Injury And Belief Change In The Experiences of Police Investigators In Child Exploitation Units is a 12-month cross-disciplinary project funded by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats. It brings together expertise from criminology, psychology and applied ethics to investigate the causes and consequences of moral injury among police investigators exposed to extreme imagery relating to exploited children.

Our staff

Vasileios Karagiannopoulos Portrait

Media ready expert

Dr Vasileios Karagiannopoulos

Associate Professor in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity


School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Lisa Sugiura Portrait

Media ready expert

Dr Lisa Sugiura

Associate Professor in Cybercrime and Gender


School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Simona Ciobotaru Portrait

Ms Simona Ciobotaru

Senior Lecturer



School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Faculty of Science and Health

Read more

How to report cybercrime

If you or someone you know has been a victim of cybercrime, you can report it to one of these organisations. 

Online fraud

Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre. You can use this site to report fraud related cybercrime, online scams and viruses.

Online exploitation of children and young people

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) – part of the National Crime Agency. You can use this site to report if you are a child or young person and something has happened online which has made you feel unsafe, scared or worried. You can also report to CEOP if you are an adult who is concerned that a child is being sexually abused or groomed online.

Internet Watch Foundation – for reporting (anonymously if you wish) images and videos of child sexual abuse

Online radicalisation

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) – if you are concerned that a person is being radicalised online, you can report it to your local Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), the details of which can be found on your local authority website.

The MASH contact details for Hampshire are:

  • Portsmouth -  +44 (0)23 9268 0810
  • Southampton - +44 (0)23 8083 3003
  • Isle of Wight - 01983 814 980
  • For referrals elsewhere in Hampshire - 0300 551386

Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) – if you see any content online related to terrorism you can use this site to report it anonymously

Internet hate crime

TrueVision – provides information about internet hate crime including advice on how to report it. You can also report internet hate crime to the police via this site.

Contacting the police

In addition to the above reporting mechanisms, you may also wish to contact your local police force by ringing the non-emergency number 101.

Always dial 999 in an emergency e.g. if a crime is happening now, or if you or someone else is in immediate danger. (Follow this link for more advice about when to dial 999.)

Cybercrime advice for specific groups

CEOP Thinkuknow – Aims to keep children and young people safe by providing education about sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. Provides access to practical information for children, young people, their parent and carers and professionals who work with them. Has information and advice if something has happened to a child or young person online.

Childline – a free, private and confidential service for children under 19 to chat about any issue that concerns them, including cyberbullying or other online concerns.

Childnet International –working with children and young people, as well as parents, carers, teachers and professionals, to develop advice and resources to help children stay safe online.

Disrespect NoBody – UK government campaign that aims to help young people understand what a healthy relationship is. Includes advice on sexting.

Europol – Child Sexual Exploitation Prevention Guide from the European Union’s Law Enforcement Agency

Family Lives– charity providing advice for children and parents about online safety, including how to deal with cyberbullying.

#GoFISH – Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Youth Commission cyber safety campaign

Internet Matters – provides information for parents and teachers to help keep children safe online by encouraging them to behave safely online, identify potential risks, limit the risks they face and know what to do and where to go if they need help.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – a child protection charity that provides advice for children and parents about a variety of issues including sexting and cyberbullying.

The Mix – a support service for young people including advice about online radicalisation and revenge porn.

UK Safer Internet Centre – promotes the safe and responsible use of technology for young people by providing advice and support to children and young people, parents, carers, schools and professionals as well as coordinating Safer Internet Day.

Age UK – charity supporting older people, including advice about staying safe online

Think Jessica – charity raising awareness of the dangers posed to the vulnerable and older people by scams including cybercrime. They produce literature, DVDs and other material designed to inform and forewarn potential victims and their relatives.

eSafety Women – Australian government website including resources to help women manage technology risks and abuse online.

SmartSafe – website developed by the Domestic Violence Resource Centre, Victoria, Australia to support the positive use of technology for those experiencing violence.

CyberAware – UK government campaign aiming to promote simple, secure online behaviours to help individuals and business protect themselves from cybercrime.

Global Cyber Alliance – free toolkit and resources for small to medium-sized businesses.

Police Digital Security Centre – not for profit organisation from Mayor of London, Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police helping small / medium businesses to protect themselves from cyber criminals.  

National Cybersecurity Centre:

  • 10 Steps to Cybersecurity – guidance on how organisations can protect themselves in cyberspace
  • Cyberessentials – tools to help businesses protect themselves from cyberattack
  • Small Charity Guide – quick, easy and low-cost advice from the National Cybersecurity Centre to help improve cybersecurity within charities
  • Small Business Guide – includes 5 simple steps organisations can follow to improve their cyber security and better protect themselves from loss online
  • Small Business Guide Actions – leaflet summarising specific actions required to implement the Small Business Guide

ACT Early – Guidance and support for loved ones who are concerned about friends or family who may be vulnerable to extremism and terrorism. The website offers advice on signs of radicalisation, case studies, and ways to report.

All Rise – an anti-cyberbullying organisation which delivers education programmes and presentations to young people and adults and presentations on cyberabuse and how to address it.

CyberAware – UK government campaign aiming to promote simple, secure online behaviours to help individuals and business protect themselves from cybercrime.

Europol – The European Union’s Law Enforcement Agency has published public awareness and prevention guides covering a number of cybercrime areas including vishing, ransomware, e-Fraud, online sexual coercion and extortion, social media and online counterfeiting.

Friends Against Scams – a National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team initiative, aiming to prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering communities to “Take a Stand Against Scams.” It provides information about scams and those who fall victim to them and encourages communities and organisations to understand, talk about and cascade messages about scams throughout their communities to aid prevention and protection.

National Cyber Security Centre – part of GCHQ to protect the UK’s critical services from cyberattacks, manage major incidents and improve internet security, including the provision of practical guidance on cybersecurity.

No More Ransom – the No More Ransom website is an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and McAfee with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.

Revenge Porn Helpline – helpline for adults who have been victims of image based sexual abuse.

Take Five – national awareness campaign aiming to raise awareness of fraud (including cybercrime) be encouraging people to take

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