Public Urged to Take Cyber Security as Seriously as Home Security

13 March 2017

Cyber Security

Britons are not applying the same level of security online as they do offline despite the increased risk of cyber crime according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). They recently revealed that only 32% of the public 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.

Latest figures from ONS show that cyber crime was one of the most common offences committed in 2016, with an estimated 2 million cyber crime incidents compared to 686,000 domestic burglary offences.

According to the National Cyber Security Centre, a part of Government Communications Headquarters, 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.
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

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