1 in 5 has been cybercrime victim

woman with laptopAlmost one in five people in the UK have had their online accounts hacked, according to a survey revealing the extent of cybercrime.

Some people (2.3%) lost more than £10,000 at the hands of online crooks, while 6% have had their accounts, including email, social network, banking and online gaming, compromised more than once.

People aged between 55 and 64 are least likely to be successfully targeted by online criminals, the University of Kent's Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Cyber Security found.

This may be because they are more cautious or spend less time online, have fewer activities and accounts, or maintain better security, researchers said.
More than 1,500 people were surveyed for the study, which found that most people (83.1%) lost nothing as a result of online security breaches but that 11.6% have lost more than £65.

Centre director Dr Eerke Boiten said: "Our results highlight that there is significant scope for the UK population and the online services they use to adopt stronger security practices.

"Cybercrime may not yet have hit a large proportion of the British public, but successful attacks do tend to lead to substantive financial damage."

The survey is the first of its kind to be conducted by the university's Centre for Cyber Security, and will become a periodic study.

Dr Julio Hernandez-Castro said: "These up-to-date survey results on how cybercrime is affecting British citizens will undermine some misconceptions and make it easier to understand where to best focus our research efforts for designing new solutions to combat cybercrime."

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