Over half UK population are victims of cybercrime

More folks have anti-virus installed, but people are still falling for the likes of ticket scams
Kerry Butters

December 9, 2011

A recent report from Get Safe Online states that more than half of the UK population (51%) have been victims of cybercrime in one form or another.

State of the Nation was published last month and acknowledges that the government have now made cybersecurity a priority, labelling it a top-tier threat and recently allocating £650 million to various departments to help fight the cybercrime menace.

Research shows that on average 19 people fall victim to cybercrime in the UK every minute and online crime is costing Britain approximately £474 million per year.

Additionally, three times as many Brits have been a victim of cybercrime compared to offline crime in the past year.

However, the good news is that a large proportion of people now have security products installed on their computers. 87% of survey respondents said they had anti-virus software installed and 41% said that they update their software every time they turn on their machine.

This rising awareness of how to protect computers will help to make the net safer in the long run, as less machines become infected and can be used as part of a botnet.

Social engineering is the biggest threat to people these days, and with 40% of people sharing their information online, crooks are looking to get hold of it.

One of the growing threats is online ticket fraud, according to Rob Skinner of Paypal. Many people are tempted by paying large amounts of money for a ticket which can be like gold dust once an event has been sold out.

Get Safe Online research shows that 1 in 10 people in the UK have fallen victim to this type of crime, often through meeting someone on a forum or social media site who say they have an unwanted ticket.

The City of London police are currently working with ticket issuers in order to stem ticket fraud to address the gap between purchase and issue time.

It is this gap that ensures criminals can set up professional looking sites which they will direct forum and social networkers to buy from.

These are common in the time period between tickets going on sale and being sent out, and especially rampant around big events such as the Glastonbury or Download festivals.

Whilst the internet is awash with various scams and malware threats, users are becoming increasingly aware of the risks due to campaigns from organisations such as Get Safe Online.

Their website has a number of tips to help consumers recognise scams, protect their information and computers, something which has become increasingly important in the digital age.


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