Victims of online crime lose an average £523 each according to a survey commissioned to mark Get Safe Online Day (18th October). This is even bigger than the figure based on cyber crime incidents reported to Action Fraud, which equates to around £210 per person.
In addition, a quarter of (25%) respondents said that they had a limited understanding of the risks they face when going online, but nine in 10 (89%) said they were somewhat or very concerned about their online safety and security.
This year’s Get Safe Online Day is encouraging the UK public and small businesses to start making every day safer by following a few simple steps:
- Review the passwords you use on your online accounts: Make sure they’re strong enough, following government advice of using three random words, and that you’re not using the same ones for more than one account. Consider how you’re going to remember them all – such as using an online password safe. (43% said that they use the same password for multiple online accounts.)
- Check your social media privacy settings. Make sure your information and updates are seen only by those you trust. (10% had their email or social media accounts hacked.)
- Update your operating system and software programs/apps on your computer, mobile phone and tablet if you’ve been prompted to do so. It takes only a few minutes and with your mobile devices, you can even do it while you’re asleep. (19% do not update their device operating systems at all.)
- Back up your information – using the cloud is a great way to save all your documents, photos, music, emails and other irreplaceable files. (29% don’t back up their documents and photographs at all.)
- Check that your internet security software and apps are up to date and switched on. (Respondents only update their security software every 8½ months.)
- If you have children, think about whether you’re doing enough to help ensure they’re staying safe online.
- If you’ve lost money report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk If you are a victim of online abuse or harassment, you should report it to your local police force.
- Take a few minutes to read the expert, easy-to-follow, free advice on all of these and considerably more subjects at www.getsafeonline.org