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Online fraud costs £13m a year but half feel powerless to stop it

Published 18/10/2016

Half of people feel there is nothing they can do to stop becoming a victim of online fraud, a survey shows
Half of people feel there is nothing they can do to stop becoming a victim of online fraud, a survey shows

About £13 million was lost by people in Northern Ireland last year through online fraud.

Half of people felt there was nothing that could have been done to stop them becoming a victim.

Detective Chief Inspector Dougie Grant from PSNI's Cyber Crime Centre said: "It is estimated that over half of all crime now has a cyber footprint.

"The Police Service of Northern Ireland deals with more than 300 requests a month relating to cyber incidents. One in 10 people will be victims of a cyber crime. Nine out of 10 large organisations have reported suffering a cyber breach."

A survey showed 22 per cent of people in Northern Ireland said they had a limited understanding of the risks they faced when going online.

But 94 per cent said they were somewhat or very concerned about their online safety and security. The same proportion also said they felt online crime was as damaging, or more damaging, than physical crime.

Online safety expert Tony Neate said: "The fact that Northern Ireland lost £13 million to cyber criminals, and the UK lost nearly £11 billion last year, is frightening and highlights the need for each and every one of us to make sure we are taking our online safety seriously. It is clear from our survey that people are very concerned, and rightly so.

"The fact that over half of people in Northern Ireland felt there was nothing that could have been done to stop them becoming a victim is alarming indeed - particularly when it's so easy to protect yourself online. It seems there is still a big education job to do.

"Let's not let cyber criminals get away with it anymore by ensuring that each and every one of us is updating the operating systems of our various devices and ensuring security software is always updated.

"What's more, we all need to ensure that we have a different password for each online account we own and website we visit. Online safety needs to be part of our everyday routines."

Online safety events are to be held at Victoria Square in Belfast on Thursday, Foyleside shopping centre in Derry on Friday and at Sprucefield outside Lisburn on Saturday.

Press Association

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