This week has been Get Safe Online Week and to coincide with the event, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau researched cyber-crime in the UK. The research found that over the last year, the ten biggest online scams cost victims over £670m – although the actual figure is thought to be significantly higher than that due to unreported crimes.
A separate poll found that while over half of Britons have been a victim of either online fraud, ID theft, hacking or online abuse, only a third of them reported the crime. One of the reasons for this is that many people did not know how to report the crime. It is hoped that this will be improved by the development of Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, and the increasing resources that the Government is dedicating to cyber-crime.
The research also suggests that cyber-crime is increasingly being taken more seriously by the British public. Around 53% said they now see it as a serious “physical world” crime and 42% stated that they are now more vigilant when shopping online. Despite this change in attitude, many people are still failing to take basic security measures with 67% of tablet owners and 54% of mobile phone owners in the survey not having a password or PIN to secure their device.
It’s good to see that initiatives like Get Safe Online Week and Action Fraud are raising awareness of online crimes and what people can do to prevent it. However, this research is a stark reminder of the dangers that we all face online. Online fraud continues to increase as crime overall falls, with criminals constantly developing new ways of targeting victims online.
At InteliSecure we believe that education is the key in the fight against cyber-crime. Our LearnwithPentura e-learning portal provides users with advice on security and best practice, with eight online modules ranging from email to removable media. Complacency is not an option, and businesses and authorities must continue to raise awareness of the dangers of online crime and educate users in cyber security.