Whether you use it to do your weekly food shop or keep in touch with friends, the internet is fast becoming a key part of our everyday lives.
Computer users of all ages are surfing the web, interacting with new acquaintances and sharing information but as the popularity of the internet continues to rise criminals are turning technology into a tool for crime.
Internet crime is a loose term used to describe a range of crimes committed online like computerised fraud, hacking and child pornography. You might also have heard it called cyber crime or e-crime.
Detecting internet crime
The global nature of the internet can make detecting sources of crime online difficult but Essex Police has a team of computer specialists working to do just that.
The hi-tech crime unit, based at headquarters, forms part of a national network of agencies fighting online crime and the staff are up to date with the latest changes in technology and computer software.
Much of their work involves seizing evidence from computers and the officers have the ability to find deleted information and re-build it to find out what was done and how.
Our PCSOs are also working to reduce internet crime by visiting schools around the county to make young people aware of its potential dangers.