A new study has revealed that one in five people in the UK have been victims of cybercrime. The hotspot for this crime is in London. However, the hotbed of worry is in Birmingham.
Londoners are the most likely to have been victims of cybercrime, with as many as 27% saying they've been affected. One victim was Katie Stedman (pictured) who had £900 stolen.
Katie is a student currently working for an energy firm in London. She explains how she was affected: "I had my identity stolen last year by cybercriminals. First they got into my Paypal, and made large purchases from Harrods. Then my Addison Lee account was hacked, and they made five separate stops around London. Next was my Amazon account, where someone had ordered an iPhone 6 to my home address. Unfortunately, Amazon was unable to prevent the delivery, so I had to accept the iPhone before it could be intercepted. They also got into my Deliveroo account, and must have been very hungry as they made four orders back-to-back in one day!"
"Overall the criminals managed to incur about £900 of costs on my accounts, though I was able to get my money back directly from all the companies involved. But it was a stressful experience, and it has changed how I think about online security. "
Norwich citizens are the second most likely to be a victim of this kind of crime - at 23%. This is followed by Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol - where 21% of people have been the victim of cybercrime.
The top ten
1 London 27%
2 Norwich 23%
5= Manchester 21%
5= Birmingham 21%
5= Bristol 21%
7= Nottingham 20%
7= Cardiff 20%
8 Brighton 19%
9 York 18%
10 Newcastle 17%
The study, by Intelligent Environments, found that overall 48% of us are concerned about cybercrime, but that in some areas we are far more worried than in others.
The hotbed of concern is Birmingham - where 57% of people are worried that their online banking deals will be stolen and 59% are worried about being a victim of ID theft.
Newcastle is the second biggest centre of worriers, with 52% of residents concerned about online banking details being stolen, and Edinburgh is third with 50%. At the other end of the spectrum, Cardiff residents are most relaxed.
Concerns about security are also holding customers back from using digital banking apps and online services – 22% don't trust digital banking apps, and 12% don't trust online banking. Some 7% of UK banking customers also said they don't use digital banking as they have previously been a victim of cybercrime.
David Webber, Managing Director of Intelligent Environments, said: "People are more on edge these days, and with good reason. High profile hacking attacks on organisations like Ashley Madison, Bitdefender and TalkTalk as recently as six months ago have put the issues at the top of people's minds, and as a result they are rightfully concerned about their security online. Of course, banking data is always going to be a primary concern as it's particularly attractive to hackers."
What can you do?
Katie's experience has led her to take the kind of approach to online security that we could all learn from. She explains: "Before this happened, I had one password for most of the sites I used. This experience has definitely changed my attitude to online security."
"I now check my bank account daily to ensure I am keeping track of all my purchases and to spot any unusual ones. I never save my card details online anymore, and I have gone through all my regular sites and changed all my passwords to more complex ones, and will change every six months or so."
It's also worth visiting the government's Cyberstreetwise website, where you can get useful advice on how to protect yourself.
Because worrying alone is going to do us very little good - we all need to take steps to protect ourselves too.