Globally, cybercrime is the fastest growing crime. Criminals know that it’s easier and more profitable than “physical crime” and the probability of being caught is lower.

Cybercrime generally covers: computer viruses or malware; a phishing message; online harassment; hacking into a social networking account; being approached online by sexual predators; online scams; online credit card fraud; identity theft; cyber bullying; smishing (which is phishing through SMS messaging) and ransomware.

The risk of you becoming a victim of cybercrime can be reduced by taking various measures. The articles for download provided on this page have been written by a number of experts and cover many topics from protecting your credit card to the safe transfer of money. They also include examples of scams which have been reported to Safe Communities Algarve. Please use these guides to reduce the risk.

The Centro Nacional de Cibersegurança (CNCS)

CNCS is the operational coordinator and the Portuguese national authority specialised in cybersecurity working in this field with State entities, operators of essential services and digital service providers, ensuring that the cyberspace is used as an area of freedom, security and justice, for the protection of all the sectors of society that materialize national sovereignty and the Democratic State under the rule of law. Latest computer security alerts can be found here

Judicial Police

In February 2017 the Judicial police formed the National Unit to Combat Cybercrime and Technological Crime, abbreviated by the acronym UNC3T. Its main competencies are:

A) Prevention, detection, criminal investigation and assistance of judicial authorities with regard to the crimes provided for in Law 109/2009, of 15 September;

B) Prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of judicial authorities in respect of crimes committed by means of resources or by means of computerised means.

C) Prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution by the judicial authorities regarding crimes:

  • Against freedom and sexual self-determination, whenever through computer systems;
  • Debauchery through computer science;
  • Computer fraud and communications;
  • Concerning the interference and illegitimate manipulation of electronic and virtual means of payment;
  • Spying, when committed in the form of any computer program designed to carry out harmful actions which constitute an advanced and permanent threat.

Its full competencies in Portuguese can be downloaded here and in English below. The contact number for the unit is 211 967 000


The GNR provide a considerable amount of advice on the safe use of the internet and social media, as part of their Safe schools program as well as information for adults. This ranges from on line risks such as malware and phishing; on-line fraud, computer security, plus special information aimed at children and teens. The information can be downloaded here.

“No More Ransomware”

Law enforcement and IT Security companies have joined forces to disrupt cybercriminal businesses with ransomware connections.

The “No More Ransom” website is an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security – with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.

Since it is much easier to avoid the threat than to fight against it once the system is affected, the project also aims to educate users about how ransomware works and what countermeasures can be taken to effectively prevent infection.


This is a website providing education and guidance for students, teachers, parents and schools on the safe use of the internet. It is co-founded by the European Union. Details of their programs on the safe use of the internet, can be found in English here..

Linha Alerta

Linha Alerta is part of a combined project – awareness node and hotline service – called Internet Segura and co-funded by the European Commission. You can report to them in English inappropriate internet content here


INHOPE is an active and collaborative global network of Hotlines, dealing with illegal content online and committed to stamping out child sexual abuse from the Internet. It comprises the INHOPE Association and the INHOPE Foundation, a charity constituted in 2010 to help new hotlines with start-up activities in emerging markets.

Hotlines provided by INHOPE offer the public a way of anonymously reporting Internet material including child sexual abuse material they suspect to be illegal. The Hotline will ensure that the matter is investigated and if found to be illegal the information will be passed to the relevant Law Enforcement Agency and in many cases the Internet Service Provider hosting the content.

No More Ransom

Police agencies and computer security companies have joined forces to stop criminal activity with links to ransomware.

The “No More Ransom” website is an initiative of the High Technology Crime Unit of the Dutch Police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3) and two cybersecurity companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security – with the aim of helping Victims of ransomware to recover their encrypted files without having to pay criminals.

Since it is much easier to avoid the threat than to fight it as soon as a system is infected, the project also aims to educate users on how ransomware works and what measures can be taken for effective prevention. This initiative is open to public and private partners.