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Feeling more vulnerable to cyber than ever

Near half of Britons (44pc) feel more vulnerable to cybercrime than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a cyber firm. Some three quarters of Brits (74pc) believe remote work has made it much easier for hackers and cybercriminals to take advantage of people, suggests the sixth annual Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report.

Nearly three in five (59pc) are more worried than ever about falling victim to cyber crime, whilst 62pc are very worried their identity will be stolen. Nearly half (46pc) aren’t sure how to protect themselves from cybercrime. An online survey by The Harris Poll was with over 10,000 adults in ten countries including roughly 1,000 adults in the UK, France, and Germany. It suggested that consumers across Europe are more alarmed than ever about their privacy, particularly in the UK (62pc in UK, 51pc in France, 46pc in Germany).

Steve Wilson, UK & Ireland Director at NortonLifeLock said: “As restrictions saw most Brits clocking up more time online than ever before (70pc), cybercriminals have taken advantage with coordinated attacks and convincing scams. Cybercriminals have made millions from stealing people’s personal information and hard-earned money. The silver lining of the increased concern, is that many Britons (66pc) say they are taking more precautions to stay safe online.”

Britons who experienced cybercrime in the past 12 months reported spending an average of 4.4 hours1 trying to resolve issues, perhaps by wiping devices clean or trying to recover their stolen data or money. In total, this means a whopping 64 million hours were spent over the past year dealing with the aftermath of cybercrime, with an estimated £2.7 billion in financial losses.

Beyond the time and money lost, there’s also the emotional impact of cybercrime. One in six Britons (17pc) who detected unauthorised access to an account or device in the past 12 months, confessed to feeling angry (48pc), stressed (44pc), vulnerable (43pc), powerless (35pc) and violated (35pc).

Wilson said: “The stress of cybercrime adds up over time. This is particularly true for identity theft, where fraudsters steal your personal information to take over existing or open new bank accounts or commit serious crimes under your name. Victims of identity theft often suffer the consequences for years. For the 2 million Brits impacted by identity theft in the past 12 months alone, this means a lifetime of vigilance for suspicious activity on their accounts or against their name.”

As for identity theft, Brits are overconfident in their ability to protect themselves. A majority, 62pc of Brits are very worried that their identity will be stolen. And although 63pc feel well protected against identity theft, 56pc confessed they would have no idea what to do if their identity were stolen. Some three-quarters (77pc) wish they had more information on what to do.

On top of cybercrime and identity concerns, as many work, school and social lives have increasingly gone digital, most, 84pc of Brits say that they have actively taken steps to hide their online footprint (to protect their online activities and personal information). Some 37pc say they are doing so because of changes to their lifestyle or work since the pandemic started. Half, 52pc say it feels impossible to protect their privacy online, with 45pc admitting they don’t know how to do so in the first place. Visit:


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