A BUSINESSMAN is so concerned about the risks everyone runs from cyber crime that he is organising a free event where individuals and firms can learn to protect themselves.

Gordon Fong, who runs Westbourne-based Datacenta Hosting, has teamed with Bournemouth University to put on the event on Wednesday, October 31.

Mr Fong recently heard from a friend whose father lost £45,000 after responding to an online scam.

He said of the event: “It is open to all, whether you are a business owner, a manager, a worker, a freelancer, a parent, young people and ex-students – because it affects us all.

“Having a family member affected by a big financial loss will likely involve you to help recover from that situation. Having a freelancer or supplier be hit, will impact you if you have a deadline for your work or goods.

“This will be more fun, entertaining and educational than technical.”

Police and crime commissioner Martin Underhill and Bournemouth MPs Tobias Ellwood and Conor Burns have all sent messages of support. Local businesses C3IA and Anytech Solutions will be there alongside Mr Fong’s company, Bournemouth University Cyber Security Society and the university’s IT department.

Mr Fong added: “What is the most important account that you have that you need to protect? Your bank accounts, iTunes, online savings accounts or Amazon?

“It’s actually your email account details. Why? It’s because in many cases you can get the online service to send you your security details or allow you update them if you have forgotten them.

“Criminals don’t have to guess your online details, they can just reset them and use your email account to pick up the links to do so. They can even then delete that email so you are none the wiser. If they hang around looking at your emails, they can build up a picture of you to even answer the additional security questions. They can bide their time and do this across hundreds of accounts as one big payoff will be worth it.”

He hoped the event would show another side to Dorset’s thriving digital community.

“Digital Dorset is not all about creative – it’s not just about marketing agencies,” he said.

“It’s about making Digital Dorset a safer place to do business.

“This is one of the big threats to society and I think we will be negligent if we don’t do something.”

The October 31 event runs from 6-7.30pm at the Inspire Lecture Theatre in the Fusion building, on Bournemouth University’s Talbot Campus. Details are at https://bit.ly/2OyX67t