Fraud and cybercrime cost the UK economy nearly £11 billion over the past year, according to the latest figures from Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
This averages out at around £520 per victim, although the real figure could be even higher given that 39% of those polled who claimed to have been hit by cybercrime said they didn’t report the incident.
Over half (53%) said they’ve received phishing emails, 28% have been contacted by someone trying to trick them into divulging their info, and 10% have actually had their email or social media accounts hacked.
Despite rising concerns over the impact of cybercrime, there’s still a worrying lack of awareness amongst the public.
Some 89% said they were somewhat or very concerned about their online safety and security, but many (43%) still use the same password for multiple accounts, over half (59%) claimed they don’t know how to update social media privacy settings and nearly a third (29%) don’t back up.
What’s more, many (38%) of those victims of cybercrime said they didn’t report the matter as they felt it was too trivial.
Get Safe Online CEO Tony Neate admitted the results show there’s still “a big education job to do.”
“Let’s not let cybercriminals get away with it anymore by ensuring that each and every one of us is updating the operating systems of our various devices and ensuring security software is always updated,” he added.
“What’s more we all need to ensure that we have a different password for each online account we own and website we visit. Online safety needs to be part of our everyday routines.”
Nick Brown, managing director of identity security firm GBG, urged users to be more vigilant about where personal information is stored, and try to limit the amount of sensitive info they put online.
“In the first instance, a fraudster will use the actual identity of an individual and thereafter, they will create synthetic identities compiled from elements of the data stolen from an individual,” he explained.
“The butterfly effect – the implications that impact an individual long after the fraudulent activity has occurred or is discovered – can be catastrophic. Vigilance, therefore, is needed in order to prevent loss of personal data, or one’s identity.”