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Fifth of Brits Suffer from Cyber Crime in Past Year

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Around one in five Brits have suffered from some form of cyber crime in the past year, according to new research by Symantec.

The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report included the results of a global survey. Over 1,000 British consumers took part in the survey and the findings showed that 22 per cent of them, which translates to more than 12 million people in the UK, have been subjected to a cyber attack of some description in the last 12 months.

Those who had suffered from a cyber attack said it cost them on average one working day – nine hours – to correct the damage. Furthermore, each act of cyber crime cost an average of £134 per person, which totals around £1.6 billion across the UK.

Interestingly, the Brits were more suspicious of foreign governments than respondents from the rest of the world; 45 per cent of survey participants from the UK said that they thought foreign governments were to blame for cyber attacks, compared to 35 per cent globally.

One in 10 Brits said they thought that the primary culprits were just smart kids just doing it for fun.

Symantec’s research also revealed some unexpected results about different generations’ attitudes to cyber security. The results suggested that baby boomers – the older generation – are proving to be more aware about cyber-security than tech-savvy millennials.

The report claims that millennials are “overly confident” and “often throw caution to the wind,” with 36 per cent of respondents saying that they share their passwords.

Worryingly, 38 per cent of the survey respondents said they do not think that they are interesting or important enough to be the target of a cyber attack. This attitude, which is shared by many small businesses, can lead to a dangerous level of complacency.

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, commented on the results: “Now more than ever, online crime is always personal. What’s concerning is that fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks, using people’s individual data to target victims while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.”

He added that people must take preventative measures against cyber attacks: “Things like making sure you never use the same passwords for all of your online accounts, keeping your anti-virus software up-to-date and reporting anything suspicious. By doing this, we can hopefully stop people worrying about online crime, and instead empower them.”

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