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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : March 16, 2016

Internet users in UK believe cybercrime now as big a threat as offline crime

Nine out of ten people in the UK believe online crime is every bit as big a threat as offline crime, according to new research by online privacy and security firm, Vest.

by Helen Leggatt

Online crime, hacking, scams and identity breaches are all scenarios with which Brits are now familiar - even if they may not have personally encountered such online crime. However, 88% of those surveyed in March this year by Vest said they now believe online crime to be as big a threat as offline crime.

Ten percent of Brits completely avoid online banking and online shopping due to their fear of cybercrime. However, among those who do venture online, measures taken to protect themselves are left wanting. While 83% said they use anti-virus software, this measure is limited in the prevention of the likes of phishing and hacking. Just 19% of Brits regularly change their passwords, or use a random password generator. Worse still, 7% employ no online security measures at all.

Yet, according to Vest, a quarter of Brits admitted they had been subject to an attempted scam in the last five years and 8% said they had suffered financially as the result of an online scam which is just 3% less than the 11% who have suffered a similar loss offline. For more than a third of Brits (37%) financial loss is their greatest online security concern followed by theft of personal data (30%) and fear for their family's safety (14%).

"Large companies and government organisations are themselves unable to prevent hacks and online theft of both data and financial assets, so many individuals feel helpless against criminals online, with the threats often coming from beyond the UK.," says co-director of Vest, Stuart Spice. "Anti virus software can only go so far, so ensuring your internet connection is truly secure and following guidelines on matters such as rigid password security can make a huge difference to your online safety."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: cybercrime, online security, personal data, Vest

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