Web users warned to take control of online safety

Over one-in-ten (12%) internet users have experienced web fraud in past 12 months, costing them an average of £875 each.

Over one-in-ten (12%) internet users have experienced web fraud in past 12 months, costing them an average of £875 each.

The figure is reported by government and industry online safety campaign Get Safe Online.
A survey among UK internet adult users (who number a total of 29m) found that 12% had experienced online fraud in the last year. 

In that time, 6% had suffered fraud while shopping online, 5% had experienced another form of general online fraud and 4% were subject to bank account or credit card fraud as a result of activity online (some users experienced more than one of these types of fraud).

The report found that 93% of internet users now use the web daily and that, on average, each user spends £1,044 per year buying goods and services on the web – equivalent to £30bn for the UK online population as a whole.

But fewer than half (48%) of internet users feel they are responsible for their own online safety. 

One-in-six (16%) believe their bank is wholly responsible for their online protection, whilst 13% feel that it is up to their internet service provider.

When asked which two things they take most care to protect, internet users report that they look after their credit/bank cards and their wallets first and foremost (56% and 42% respectively).

Just 9% take most care to protect their website password and 1% their e-mail address.

Pat McFadden, minister with responsibility for transformational government, said, “The internet is transforming how we get and use information. It is also helping us reform our public services around the needs of the individual.

“However as we make more services available online so we need users to take the same basic precautions in using the internet as they would when making transactions in the high street – such as not sharing your bank details or passwords.”

Over half (53%) thought that there should be an ‘Internet Safety Test’ – much like the driving test – that should be taken by web users, to ensure they are aware of the risks and of their personal responsibility to stay safe.

Over three-quarters of those surveyed (78%) felt that there should be lessons in schools to help young people understand the risks and know how to stay safe on the internet.

Get Safe Online has a website which shows web users how to give themselves greater protection:


Related article: Lloyds TSB automates fight against debit card fraud

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