Brits worth £361bn to online identity thieves

Brits are potentially worth a total of £361bn to cybercriminals through identity theft.

Brits are potentially worth a total of £361bn to cybercriminals through identity theft.

Research commissioned by security firm VeriSign says UK internet users are putting up to £361bn at risk by sharing personal data on websites that are either not secure or poorly protected.

The survey found that the average UK consumer is worth £10,077 online. This figure is the total sum of monetary assets available in the average person's online accounts, which could include banking, gaming and shopping accounts.

With 65% of respondents sharing personal information with their online bank each week, 58% with online retailers and 31% with social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook, the ability of fraudsters to steal a customer's details and money online is substantially increased, said VeriSign.

In addition, with 75% freely giving away their date of birth, 70% their home address, and 68% their mother's maiden name, the threat is worsened, VeriSign said.

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