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Identity theft victims lose an average of £14,500

Almost 50% of web users are not protected enough


Victims of identity theft are worth an average of £14,500 per fraud attempt to online criminals, according to research conducted by internet safety organisation GetSafeOnline.org.

Highlighting the fourth annual Get Safe Online Week, the organisation also found that while 85% of UK internet users have some form of anti-virus software on their computers, almost half are not updating their anti-virus software frequently enough to ensure it remains effective.

Almost a quarter (23%) do not have any anti-spyware protection, and nearly half (47%) do not have website authentication software to protect themselves from so-called ‘phishing’ attacks.

Internet safety

Experts at GetSafeOnline.org are encouraging the public to take steps to ensure they and their computers are adequately protected.

Tony Neate, managing director, GetSafeOnline.org says, ‘If internet users invest a relatively small amount of time and money in ensuring they are fully protected and up-to-date, the risk of such financial loss is almost negligible.’

Which? has reviewed popular internet security packages – discover which were voted Best Buy security programs in our online review.

Online fraud

GetSafeOnline.org found a sharp increase in phishing attacks, with 23% of internet users saying they or someone they knew have been a victim this year, compared to 8% in 2007. 

Commenting ahead of the annual Get Safe Online Summit, Home Office Minister, Alan Campbell said: ‘It is important that we stay one step ahead of criminals who increasingly use sophisticated computer networks and the internet to commit and facilitate crime. That is why we recently announced a new £7million police unit dedicated to tackling cyber crime and clamping down on internet fraud.’

For information and advice on how to guard against online identity fraud and other internet crime, visit our online guide to protecting your online ID.


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