DEVON and Cornwall Police’s Cyber Protect Team are asking people to use strong passwords and 2-step verification for their email and social media accounts.

This is following notification from Action Fraud that they have received reports about hacked email and social media accounts, these reports included victims being extorted for money, or having their accounts used to perpetrate fraud against other members of the public.

In the last two months Action Fraud has received reports relating to hacked social media accounts being utilised to promote fake music concert tickets, and unfortunately members of the public are less likely to suspect it’s a scam if the tickets appear to be sold by someone who has lots of friends on their profile and posts dating back many years. So what can you do to avoid having your email or social media accounts hacked?

Use a strong and different password for your email and social media accounts. Your email and social media passwords should not be the same and should be strong, ideally 12 characters or more. Combining three random words that each mean something to you is a great way to create a password that is easy to remember but hard to crack.

Turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV) for your email and social media accounts. Two-Step Verification (2SV) gives you twice the protection so even if cyber criminals have your password, they can’t access your email or social media account. 2SV works by asking for more information to prove your identity.

For example, getting a code sent to your phone when you sign in using a new device or change settings such as your password. You won’t be asked for this every time you check your email or social media.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Suspicious emails should also be sent to NCSC’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at [email protected]