Millions of Britons have now fallen victim to an online scam – while 64 percent of us admit fraudsters have left us actually “fearing” the internet, a shocking new study reveals. This week Sir Tony Blair and Lord Hague unveiled a joint campaign for a new ID card incorporating our passport, driving license, tax records, qualifications and right-to-work status – all stored on our mobile phones.
But amid fears it could also be a top target for fraudsters, a new report by F-Secure reveals 19 percent of Britons have admitted to being conned in their lifetime by a clever online financial or data-sharing scam.
F-Secure’s new Living Secure global study shows Britons now spend an alarming third of their day – eight hours – online, potentially exposing themselves to phishing emails, fake payment websites and Authorized Push Payment (APP) frauds.
But a quarter of the nation carries out activities online – from banking to dating – without any cybersecurity in place at all, making themselves attractive bait for online criminals to target.
Timo Laaksonen, F-Secure CEO, said: “Our research has highlighted a clear disconnect between what we do online and how vulnerable we feel online, versus the concrete actions we take to reduce that vulnerability.
“Despite many Britons often feeling unsafe online they still aren’t putting adequate security measures in place.
“In the physical world you wouldn’t willingly give out passwords and personal data to strangers, so why go online and do it, and risk being a target for online criminals?
“Sixty percent of people said they found cybersecurity too complex. What is the use of all this great technology if people don’t use it?
“The spotlight is now on us; the cyber security industry needs to work a lot harder at simplifying cybersecurity for consumers – providing a security experience that people can understand and relate to.”
Three-quarters of Britons claim they can spot a scam a mile away, 64 percent don’t know who to trust online and “fear” the internet.
While 68 percent worry about their families’ safety online – as half of those with children under 13 (the minimum age for Tik Tok, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter) admit their kids use social media.
The study found nearly all our daily favorite pastimes, or ways to relax, are now online – with a third of us watching short videos on social media and a quarter playing games or using it for sports and health tracking.
When asked what we would most hate to lose if targeted by hackers or cyber criminals, 57 percent of Britons said photos – and a third of us admit they don’t back up their photos at all.
Laura Kankaala, F-Secure Threat Intelligence Lead, said: “Digital services are inseparable from our daily lives.
“The data we create from living profoundly digital lives helps explain why most people say that what’s on their phone is worth more than the phone itself.
“Our report found that when weighing up which they would rather have stolen, 58 percent of Britons said they would prefer thieves swiped their car than nicked their identity.
“Meanwhile 42 percent of UK adults even went so far as to admit they would rather shove their hands in a nest of vicious bullet ants than lose their personal data!”