The 2021 census will be conducted in March, the actual Census Day is 21 March 2021.
The census is a once-in-a-decade survey run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that provides a snapshot of households in England and Wales, helping to plan and fund public services. Everyone across England and Wales will be asked to take part and the information people give will decide how services are planned and funded. Ultimately, it ensures funds are invested in emergency services, health care, school places and other vital services.
For the first time, the census will be run primarily online, making it easy for most people to complete the questionnaire on any device – whether that be a computer, a mobile phone or a tablet. Local Census support centres will be offering help, while paper questionnaires will be available for those who need them. All census staff will operate in line with the Government’s latest Covid-19 guidance.
The 2021 Census will include a new question on veterans of the UK Armed Forces, as well as voluntary questions, for those aged 16 and over, on sexual orientation and gender identity. While results will be available the following year, all personal records will be locked away for 100 years and kept safe for future generations.
There is a Census information booklet which should answer any questions you may have or you can visit the Census 2021 website, where information on the Census in multiple languages is also available.
Sally Schofield and Mark Mullally from NatWest Bank gave a talk to us recently on Keeping Safe from Frauds and Scams. Following this they have provided us with details of various services and websites which are very helpful if you think you have been subject to a fraud or scam.
One important point they stressed is - if you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank/credit card company in the first instance (there is always a phone number on the back of your card, if you do need to contact them). Talk to someone – you are not alone and shouldn’t feel embarrassed.
If you receive a suspicious phone call and want to phone your bank or credit card company to check, make the call from another phone, if you can. If you dial from the same phone, it is very likely that the caller will not have hung up and you will still be speaking to the scammer. If you do make a call, use the phone number on the back of your credit or debit card, not the number the caller gives you. Best to hang up on the caller.
SCAMS and FRAUD
Friends Against Scams website – headed by the National Trading Standards Scams team, 'Friends Against Scams' is an initiative which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams.
Action Fraud is the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime. Report the scam to Action Fraud online or by phone on 0300 123 2040.
Look for the ‘Little Book of Big Scams (version 5)’ online – written by the Police Service in conjunction with other expert organisations, see Personal fraud and how to prevent it to download this.
Think Jessica is a charity that has been set up by Marilyn Baldwin OBE after her mother, Jessica, was targeted and scammed out of her life savings. They exist to help raise the awareness of Scam Mail and it's effects on vulnerable people, empowering you with advice to beat the scammers.
Government channels for reporting of Scam texts and emails:
- Texts - forward to 7726
- Emails – forward these to firstname.lastname@example.org. These emails can also be sent to the organisation they are purporting to be from; check individual organisations websites for the email address to use.
National Consumer Helpline - operated by Citizens Advice, phone no. 0808 2231133 / 03454 04 05 06. From this webpage is a link to Trading Standards for reporting Consumer Disputes and Scams.
BEING SAFE ONLINE
Get Safe On Line is an excellent source of free, unbiased security advice. It is the UK's leading source of factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety categorised for easy use.
Have I Been Pwned? is a website that allows Internet users to check whether their personal data has been compromised by data breaches. The service collects and analyzes hundreds of database dumps and pastes containing information about billions of leaked accounts, and allows users to search for their own information by entering their username or email address
How Secure is my Password is a tool to help you develop strong passwords. On this website you can test the strength of your passwords, ensure each password you use is secure, and check how long it takes a computer to guess your password.
National Cyber Security Centre is the UK’s independent authority on cyber security and is helping to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.
One of the latest Scams is text messages (mainly) that purport to come from the NHS inviting you for your vaccination. The BBC Technology website has an example of this. It looks authentic but later asks for bank details. Remember that any Covid-19 tests and vaccinations are FREE.
We have also been alerted to thefts at cash machines. Thieves may try to distract you or stand close to you to read your PIN number. They may tap you on the shoulder and steal your card as you instinctively turn around. Do remember not to leave your card before turning away. Better still, when withdrawing cash use indoor cash machines inside bank premises wherever possible.
There are myriad sites with information and views on the pandemic. Many are repetitive, some are confusing and a few are simply wrong. Some are incorrect with malicious intent. The following are sites that you may find useful in following the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Latest Covid-19 advice from u3a Central office (updated irregularly) - Advice specifically tailored for u3a branches and their activities.
Latest Ealing Covid-19 advice from Ealing Council - Advice for Ealing residents.
Interactive map of Covid infection rates by specific areas - This is updated daily and you can zoom in to individual “ward” level although the easiest way is to put in your post code in which case it finds it directly. You can also review the progression of the pandemic by using the slider at the top of the map to view historical data.
Government plans for the Vaccination Programme roll out - the latest Government plans to vaccinate us all, what is their strategy and what are the priorities. Based on the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI).
U3A Ealing News - From Your Desktop
A reminder that we have been highlighting in our regular U3A Ealing News bulletin Theatre & Music performances, Museum & Art Galleries tours, Festivals and many other events taking place online. A full list of these online events/performances/etc are now shown on our RESOURCES - ONLINE CONTENT page.