Britons are not applying the same level of security online as they do offline despite the increased risk of cyber crime. While 82% of British households have double locks or deadlocks(1), only 32% follow the latest government advice to use three random words to create a strong password and on average only 52% regularly download the latest software or app updates.(2)
Latest figures from ONS show that cyber crime was one of the most common offences committed in 2016, with an estimated 2m cyber crime incidents compared to 686,000 domestic burglary offences.(3)
According to the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, the best ways to protect yourself from cyber crime are to:
•Always download the latest software and app updates, they contain vital security upgrades which help protect your devices from viruses and hackers. The most common reason respondents across the UK gave for not downloading software updates was that it takes too long. In reality, it only takes a few minutes compared to the time it can take to recover from a cyber hack.
•Use three random words to create a strong password. Weak passwords can allow hackers to use victims’ email to gain access to many of their personal accounts, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.
To help bring the impact of cyber crime to life, Cyber Aware is launching a new film showing victims of cyber crime talking about the effect it has had on their lives. Cyber Aware hopes the film will encourage the public to take simple steps to protect themselves from cyber criminals, just as they would take precautions to secure their home.
Alison Marriott, a victim of hacking said:
“The whole experience was very distressing. Emails were being sent from my account to my contacts which I had no control over. It caused a great deal of embarrassment and took days to sort out.”
Neil Masters, National Lead for Fraud and Economic Cyber Crime at the independent charity Victim Support, explains:
“Cyber crime is not just about financial loss for victims, it can affect people in a variety of ways. In cases of identity fraud, a ripple effect is often triggered, leaving some people struggling with psychological and physical health issues.”
To find out more about how to stay secure online visit cyberaware.gov.uk or follow the conversation on Twitter @cyberawaregov and using the hashtag #cyberaware.
1.The Crime Survey for England and Wales recorded that in the year to March 2016 82% of households have double locks or deadlocks and 89% have window locks on at least some windows and doors.
2.An online study was conducted with members of Ipsos MORI’s online panel. The study was based on 4,002 individuals from the Ipsos MORI online panel and took place between 26 October and 14 November 2016. Data were weighted by region, age, gender and social grade according to the national online profile.
Software update figures are based on the mean proportion who state that they ‘always’ or ‘often’ download the latest software updates from both laptops or desktops and tablets or mobile phones.
3.The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows there were an estimated 2 million cyber crime offences against individuals and 686,000 domestic burglary offences committed in the year to September 2016. Cybercrime includes all computer misuse offences, such as hacking and viruses. However, these are experimental statistics based on interviews with a half-sample of respondents conducted between October 2015 and September 2016.