Over one in ten (12%) internet users have experienced web fraud in the past 12 months because of failing to take proper precautions, a new survey has found.
And those who have experienced online fraud lost an average of £875 each, according to “Internet Safety: The State of the Nation,” research by the government and industry online safety campaign, Get Safe Online.
A survey of UK internet adult users – who number 29 million – found that 12% (almost 3.5 million people) had experienced online fraud in the last year. In that time, 6% of all internet users (1.7 million people) suffered fraud while shopping online, 5% (1.5 million) experienced another form of general online fraud and 4% (1.2 million) were subject to bank account or credit card fraud as a result of activity online (some users experienced more than one of these).
The survey said rise in online fraud comes as UK internet activity had risen dramatically. It found that 93% of internet users now use the web daily and that, on average, we each spend £1,044 per year buying goods and services on the web – equivalent to £30 billion for the UK online population as a whole.
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 email 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."