According to a report by cybersecurity firm Norton, more than 17 million brits were hit by cybercrime in 2017, with hackers stealing £4.6bn from internet users across the UK.
Cybercrime hits a record high for UK consumers
The findings come from the 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, and is part of a global investigation covering 20 countries. It examines the behaviour, attitudes and security habits of online consumers, alongside the dangers and financial cost of cybercrime.
The report exposed 978 million victims of cybercrime last year, with a total of £130bn stolen across those 20 countries.
Victims were targeted by phishing, ransomware, online fraud and hacking, with each individual losing almost 2 working days in dealing with the aftermath of the hack.
Some of the most common cyber crimes included attempts to manipulate individuals into giving over their personal information via bogus emails, technical support scams, ransomware attacks, and fraudulent purchases online.
The study also examined an interesting correlation between cybercrime victims - typically, that they tend to be everyday consumers who use multiple devices, be it at work or at home, and use the same password across numerous accounts.
What's more, 28% of victims in the UK believe they're able to protect their data from future attacks and 26% think they're at low risk of being hit again.
5 steps to protect yourself from online hackers:
- Install an internet security suite on your computer - This will ensure you protect yourself against viruses and other threats. Be sure to update this security regularly.
- Use strong passwords - Don't repeat the same password across different sites and remember to change your password regularly.
- Update your software - If hackers are going to gain access to your system they will most likely do so by using known exploits in your software. Keeping all your software updated will reduce the risk of this being possible for hackers, meaning the likelihood of you becoming a cyber victim will be significantly diminished.
- Secure your social media privacy settings - Cybercriminals quite often gain access to your personal information through social engineering, and it can be done using just a few data points. The less you share with the world, the better.
- Be aware of major security breaches - If you have an account on a site that has been the focus of a data security breach, you will need to change your password immediately.
For any business, one of the key measures to take in order to prevent an online security attack is to ensure that all employees are made aware of what it is, how it can happen, and what can be done to reduce the chances of it happening.
One way to do this is to implement a training initiative across your organisation, in an effort to remediate these risks.
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