A new cybersecurity map of the UK, created by ieDigital, reveals that 48% of people in the UK are concerned that their identity will be stolen, and the same proportion are worried that their bank details will be stolen.
The research indicates that consumers’ concerns are well founded, finding that 20% of British people have fallen victim to cybercrime. This includes having their identity, money or bank details stolen. Londoners are the most likely to have been victims of cybercrime, with as many as 27% saying they’ve been affected, while Norwich citizens are the second most likely at 23%.
The research detailed in ieDigital’s map reveals:
- Birmingham is Britain’s city most concerned with cybersecurity, with 57% of residents worried about their online banking details being stolen, and 59% concerned about becoming victim to identity theft.
- Newcastle is second, with 52% of residents concerned about online banking details being stolen, and Edinburgh is third with 50%.
- Cardiff residents are most relaxed, but it’s still a major issue, as 43% of people expressed concerns about online banking details being stolen.
- 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.
- 7% of UK banking customers also said they don’t use digital banking, as they have previously been a victim of cybercrime.
The research indicates a clear role for banks to play, not only in keeping people safe when transacting online, but also in educating customers. 19% of Brits said they have a limited understanding of how to stay safe online, and 30% said they would like their bank to offer them more advice on how to stay safe online.
“People are more on edge these days, and with good reason,” says David Webber of ieDigital. “High-profile hacking attacks on organizations such as 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. We’re therefore calling on banks to play a more active role in educating customers on how best to keep themselves and their financial information safe while they’re online.
“Introducing biometric security measures, offering advice on what to watch out for when making online purchases, and helping customers better understand what to do when things go wrong go a long way towards helping people be more aware of cybersecurity, without getting in the way of a great user experience. Finding that balance between the two is the key for financial service businesses, and the route to a better, more secure service.”
Katie Stedman is a student currently working for an energy firm in London, and has previously been a victim of cybercrime. She says, “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. 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’m keeping track of all my purchases and to spot any unusual ones. I never save my card details online anymore, and I’ve gone through all my regular sites and changed all my passwords to more complex ones, and will change them every six months or so.”
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