DORSET Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has backed a cyber campaign to urge residents to stay safe online.

The £4million government initiative, called Cyber Streetwise, is encouraging internet users to take precautions while shopping, socialising or banking online.

Mr Underhill said: “I welcome this new government initiative. Cyber crime is a growing threat in Dorset and people need to be better informed against the risks of using their computer or SmartPhone.

“I would urge businesses and residents to use the website and take note of the advice.”

Mr Underhill has pledged to help tackle online crime in Dorset this year.

Research shows less than a third of people across the country use complex passwords to protect their accounts and more than half do not check websites are secure before making a purchase.

Experts advise internet users to install anti-virus software, to check privacy settings on social media and to download software and application patches when prompted.