Concerns over internet security among UK consumers at its highest ever

Concerns over Internet security, be it online transactions, hacking attempts or internet viruses, has grown by 50 per cent since 2014 in the UK.

Around 50 per cent of the general public in the country are either extremely or very concerned about the safety of their personal data as well.

According to a recent survey conducted on British consumers by global information technology company Unisys, security-related concerns in the UK rose by around 4- per cent on an average since 2014, with terrorism and identity theft leading the list of concerns.

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British consumers are also extremely or very concerned about bank card fraud, hacking, online fraud and other risks surrounding the internet.

“Factors such as terror attacks, high-profile cyber-attacks and the rising cost of living are all outside the public’s control and they are major contributing factors to the Unisys Security Index registering record levels of concern in the UK," said Salvatore Sinno, chief security architect at Unisys.

"Steps to advise and protect the public, such as the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre, are moves in the right direction, but we need joined up thinking across the public and private sectors to ensure the public are aware of risks, know how to avoid threats and act as securely as possible,” he added.

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On a scale of 0 to 300, concerns expressed over internet security clocked 150, concerns over financial security clocked 147, concerns over personal security clocked 141 and those over national security clocked 136. Despite concerns over internet security leading the pack in the UK, they still trail the global average by 13 percentage points.

Unisys surveyed a total of 13 countries, with the Philippines leading all countries in terms of the level of concern expressed by the population. While the country scored 243 on 300, the Netherlands scored the lowest at 125.

A couple of years ago, a survey conducted by ItProPortal revealed that worries about the risks of using public WiFi rose by nine per cent over the previous year and that 56% of those surveyed said Internet security was important to them when using public WiFi, but only 40 per cent of the British public said they had internet security software installed on mobile devices.

Results of the survey also revealed that most people did not feel confident when it came to knowing how to protect themselves from the online risk which accompanies public networks.