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Laptop that is half closed
Internet and e-mail have many advantages, but also a downside: cybercrime, such as phishing, malware, hacking, DDoS attacks and bank card fraud.

Therefore, it is important to be careful when you go online.


  • Install a good antivirus program and let it scan automatically. A list of reliable virus scanners can be found on safeonweb.be.
  • Carry out regular updates. Do this for your operating system, your programs and your apps. Programs that are not up-to-date are more easily infected by viruses. More information about updates can be found on safeonweb.be.
  • Back up your data regularly to an external hard drive or the cloud. A virus can delete all your personal files or even hold them hostage. If you make regular backups, you limit the damage.
    • Only connect your hard drive to your computer during backup. Afterwards, you should disconnect the hard drive and store it elsewhere.
    • More information about backups can be found on safeonweb.be.
  • Beware of phishing.
  • Protect your accounts in a safe manner:



  • Are you a victim of cybercriminals? Notify the police.

Impact and probability

Computer crime. Impact: moderate impact. Probability: very likely.Hacktivism. Impact: low impact. Probability: very likely. Our society is increasingly connected by, and therefore dependent on, cyber networks. Unfortunately, these can be infiltrated by organisations with bad intentions.

In 2018, the National Crisis Center coordinated a large-scale risk assessment for Belgium for the period 2018-2023. Several experts assessed various risks based on their probability and their impact on people, society, the environment and the economy.

Within the area of 'cybercrime' they analysed the following risks:

  • Computer crime: a cyber attack carried out by a criminal organisation or individual to make money.
  • Hacktivism: the hacking of critical infrastructure (e.g. electricity network, electronic payment system) or government or international institutions out of activist convictions.

For the risk of 'computer crime', the analysis is:

  • Impact: moderate impact
  • Probability: very likely

For the risk of 'hacktivism', the analysis is:

  • Impact: low impact
  • Probability: very likely

Read more about this analysis and what these charts mean here. 

What do governments do?

The Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium (CCB) supervises, coordinates and monitors the application of the Belgian cybersecurity strategy and is responsible for detecting, observing and analysing online security problems.

To manage cyber security incidents and crises on a national level, there is the national cyber emergency plan. To this end, the National Crisis Center works together with the Centre for Cybersecurity Belgium and other government partners. This allows all of these partners to work together in a coordinated manner to protect our country's vital sectors from cyber attacks.