Cyber crime is something which could easily affect us all.

Gone are the days when it was just teenagers and tech-savvy IT experts who were using the internet to socialise, shop and surf the web.

In the 21st Century people of all ages, from all backgrounds and all levels of expertise use the internet on a daily basis.

It is hard to imagine life without smartphones, laptops and tablets.

But all that technology makes us more vulnerable to criminals.

A huge proportion of crimes that the police now investigate have some kind of cyber element to them.

This can range from cyber bullying, with people using the anonymity of social media to target others with abuse and threats, to large-scale financial scams, with vulnerable victims duped into revealing their bank details or transferring large sums of money to fraudsters.

Here at Wiltshire Police we have been fighting back with our Digital Investigations and Intelligence Unit, which was set up last year to make sure we are keeping up with the latest trends and technology.

These specialist officers can use their expertise to assist all manner of investigations and cases.

The unit also recently led the high-profile investigation into the mortuary photos of footballer Emiliano Sala, which had been posted in social media, and their hard work and dedication resulted in the conviction of two people.

Last week Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services published its national report into how police forces across the country, as well as the National Crime Agency, deal with the threat of cyber-dependent crime.

It estimated that this type of crime costs the UK £1.1 billion each year and, although police forces are generally working well to tackle these offences, there needs to be a nationwide approach to the issue.

One of the areas where we can quickly and cost-effectively make a difference is crime prevention.

There is a lot people can do to educate themselves about staying safe online and reducing the risk of falling victim to frauds or scams. Indeed it is estimated that up to 80% of cybercrime is preventable.

I would urge you all to go to our website to make sure you are up to speed with the latest tips and advice on how to avoid becoming a victim.