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Cyber Threats Hugely Underestimated By Over A Third Of Brits

Significantly more Brits (60 per cent) believe they are more likely to fall victim to a physical home break-in than those fearing a digital crime (37 per cent), according to new research from BT. This is despite the fact that, on average, people aged 16-44 years are now almost as likely to suffer a digital crime (15 per cent) as a home break-in (17 per cent).

The research has revealed that just over a third of Brits (34 per cent) do not consider poor digital security as being a risk to their home.

And despite calls for greater awareness of cybercrime, only 10 per cent of people think their Wi-Fi or smartphones could be the most likely source of a crime, compared to 51 per cent who believe their front doors, windows or back door are more likely to be targeted.

Worryingly, UK citizens are failing to take advantage of the free security solutions made available to them by their phone and broadband providers.

The research highlights worrying security gaps amongst ‘tech savvy’ younger generations. Password protection is the biggest issue for 16-24 year olds, with 40 per cent admitting that they use the same password on all devices. Amongst respondents aged 25-34 years – the age-group most likely to be first-time buyers – almost a quarter (24 per cent) admit they’re not confident about the digital security of their homes.

Mark Hughes, CEO BT Security comments: “People must ensure that they are protecting themselves and their family from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats such as phishing emails, malware, and inappropriate web content.”

Alex Dewdney, NCSC director for Engagement adds: “New research from BT suggests a mismatch between ‘awareness’ and ‘action’ when it comes to cyber security. People say they see the effects, but are finding it hard to take the steps needed to avoid on-line fraud. The government’s new National Cyber Security Centre is working with BT and other key partners to meet this challenge and find ways of enhancing cyber security for all.”

The reality is that digital crimes are thriving. Recent research from Intel Security showed that stolen credit and debit card data can be bought and sold for between £13 and £23 in the UK alone. Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly clever and it’s important to stay one step ahead.

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