It is estimated that that more than 12.5 million British consumers fell victim to cybercrime in the past twelve months, according to a new report.
The 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report claims that this cost the UK economy £1.8bn in the past years. The report highlights the change in tactics that are adapting to target their victims, with a greater focus on fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of the risks.
Cybercrime on the increase
One in five online adults has been a victim of either social or mobile cybercrime. Around 15% of social network users reported that someone had hacked into their profile and pretended to be them, while one in 10 social network users said they’d fallen victim to a scam or fake link on social network platforms.
Nearly one-third of mobile users received a text message from someone they didn’t know requesting that they click on an embedded link or dial an unknown number to retrieve a special voicemail.
Strong email passwords still key to preventing cybercrime
Email accounts can be a potential gateway for fraudsters looking for personal and corporate information.This is due to people now using their email account to send, retrieve and store everything from personal photos and work documents, to bank statements and passwords for other online accounts.
If a fraudster does gain access to your email account they can also reset your password for other accounts by clicking on ‘forgotten password’ links and intercepting these emails. This could effectively lock you out of your own accounts.
Action point: The best way to protect yourself online is by using complex passwords and changing them regularly.