Consumers still failing to protect themselves against cybercrime

Consumers are failing to appropriately protect themselves against the threat of cybercrime, according to a new survey.

Get Safe Online found that 43% of people still use one password for different online accounts, despite companies warning them against doing so.

The data also showed that consumers only update their security software every 8.5 months, while under a quarter of social media users admitted that they never update their privacy settings (58% admitted to not knowing how to).

Despite 86% saying they had not experienced any online danger in the past 12 months, 53% of UK consumers have been targeted through fraudulent emails, Get Safe Online revealed.

In addition, 10% had their email or social media accounts compromised, while 3% had been a victim of ransomware.

Interestingly, a third of UK cybercrime victims were of the opinion that they were powerless to prevent themselves from being attacked.

“The fact that over a third of people felt there was nothing that could have been done to stop them becoming a victim is alarming indeed – particularly when it’s so easy to protect yourself online,” commented Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online.

A limited consumer understanding was also apparent, with 25% of respondents admitting to having limited knowledge of the risks online.

The financial cost of fraud and cybercrime was also highlighted by the survey, which reported that the UK lost £10.9 billion in 2015/2016.

Chris Greany, commander of City of London Police, said: “The huge financial loss to cybercrime hides the often harrowing human stories that destroy lives and blights every community in the UK.

“All of us need to ask ourselves are we doing everything we can to protect ourselves from online criminals. Unfortunately, people still click on links in unsolicited emails and fail to update their security software. Just as you wouldn’t leave your door unlocked, so you shouldn’t leave yourself unprotected online.”

Author , We Live Security

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