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A Sixth Of On-Line Users In The UK Unprotected

BullGuard : 02 June, 2011  (Technical Article)
Research study by BullGuard discovers that despite overwhelming levels of mistrust of internet security in Britain, many are still operating with inadequate protection levels

Nine out of ten Brits don’t trust the internet, a new BullGuard study has revealed. The research found that despite three quarters of the nation being online, millions are still cautious of banking, emailing and opening attachments.

A worrying three in ten have had a bad experience while surfing the net – one in six have been hacked, whilst one in twenty have been a victim of ID fraud or even cyber-bullying. One in five admitted to accidently opening attachments which have infected their PC with a virus and half are constantly bombarded with spam emails. But shockingly, one in six polled said they have no security measures in place to protect them from online threats.

Yesterday, Claus Villumsen, internet security expert with antivirus company BullGuard which polled the 2,000 Brits, said: "It seems millions of internet users are still sceptical about the web, what to click on and who to trust with their information, but rightly so. Criminals and fraudsters are becoming increasingly savvy in tricking web users onto false pages and into handing over credit card details, the consequence of which is seeing their hard earned cash leaving their account.“

Villumsen concluded: ''Brits should be cautious, but shouldn't let one bad experience put them off from using the web as it opens up so many opportunities, instead they should protect themselves with security software. Being hacked, or PCs being infected with viruses, can be deadly for your hardware as well as being costly, so be on your guard. If you’re unsure of a website or an e-mail – if it looks dodgy or you are asked to type in too much information for the occasion - it’s best to stay clear.”

The study quizzed UK adults on their online activity and found:

* One in ten feels unsafe using the internet at least every other day.

* One in ten has had their bank details stolen and seen large chunks of money leave their bank account to the tune of £834.

* Six in ten are cautious of logging onto websites which require email addresses and passwords.

* Half of Brits are concerned about banking online and the same number is dubious of opening email attachments.

* Chat rooms, forums and Facebook leave another one in five feeling uneasy.

The survey also quizzed respondents on their knowledge of harmful online activity:

* One in twenty admitted to opening up emails or attachments from unknown sources, and the same number can’t help but click on pop-up windows. 

* Fewer than half are aware of what phishing, cookies or Trojans are and six in ten don’t know how to protect themselves.

* One in twenty has had their details phished – being tricked into electronically entering important info like their credit card details into a fake website – with three in ten having their bank account completely emptied.

And when it comes to what info Brits store online:

* One in five have their address for all to see

* 41% have their date of birth posted somewhere

* 14% have their bank details stored online.

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