One in six fall victim to cyber crime
One in six Brits have been the victim of an online cyber attack, new research has revealed.
Cyber attacks such as phishing emails are becoming increasingly common as people rely more on technology to do everything from shopping to online banking, credit experts Experian have warned.
But despite the high number of victims, some 60% of smartphone users and nearly half (48%) of tablet users admit to not having any malware protection installed on their devices, leaving them vulnerable to online fraudsters.
This compares to a huge 93% of PC owners who have security or anti-virus software installed on their computer.
That said, laptops and PCs continue to the be the most vulnerable devices, with 83% of users falling victim to a cybercrime, while a fifth of smartphone users (21%) and 17% of tablet owners have experienced an attack.
When asked why they haven't installed protection software on their phone or tablet, 12% said it was because they thought they were automatically provided with protection, 8% said they thought fraud protection is too expensive, while a third (29%) said they weren't aware that they needed it.
The research also revealed what people access when they use new technology. Nearly half (45%) of smartphone or tablet owners have used their device to check their bank balance, a third (33%) have paid for an item using an online app, while more than a quarter (27%) have used an app to transfer money to another person.
Ori Eisen, Experian's fraud leader, said: "This year has proved a tipping point for smartphones and tablets. The rapid rise in demand for online banking and retail combined with very little security on devices has created a massive opportunity for cyber criminals leaving many people and businesses extremely vulnerable.
"There are approximately five billion connected devices globally, serving a billion online bank accounts and contributing $13 trillion to global ecommerce sales and transactions. With so much at stake, the opportunities for fraudsters are countless and we need to do more… to protect ourselves."
Phishing scams are typically fraudulent email messages from seemingly legitimate sources (your internet service provider, mobile phone provider, bank etc). These messages usually direct you to a counterfeit website or ask you to divulge private information (password, PIN, credit card numbers, or other account updates), which is then used to commit identity theft.