The Government is launching a £4million campaign to crack down on cyber fraud.
Security Minister James Brokenshire has announced the first stage this week, aimed raising awareness of how to stay safe online. So how can you protect yourself from internet fraudsters?
The campaign, due to be launched in the autumn, is part of the Government's National Cyber Security Programme. It forms a collaboration with the Cabinet Office, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and partners from the business sector including Get Safe Online.
Security Minister James Brokenshire said: "The digitisation of the UK economy has made our lives easier and has created huge opportunities, but it has also created individual security risks as well. If we are to meet these new challenges it's essential we step up our efforts to stay safe online.
"The threat of cyber crime is real and the criminals involved are organised and driven by profit. By making small changes British businesses can remain competitive in the global economy and consumers can have greater confidence using the internet."
Today's digital fraudsters are highly skilled and constantly come up with new scams to make money from innocent consumers. Despite widespread warnings, many continue to fall victim and a staggering 56% of Brits have been targeted by online criminals, according to Getsafeonline.org, resulting in an average loss of £247 per person for each online attack.
So what are the key protection tips we all should know?
- Password protection – Activate password protection on all communication gadgets. It is an obvious safety measure yet half of respondents in the Getsafeonline.org study admitted to not using a password to activate their mobile phone or tablet.
- Choose strong passwords – It is increasingly difficult to remember countless passwords for the myriad of accounts we now all hold – but strong passwords are vitally important to your online safety. Read our guide on how to choose and remember secure passwords.
- Protect your money – One in ten people have been victims of online credit card fraud, often caused by unknowingly entering card details into a bogus website. Shop safely by following our top online shopping tips.
- Be safe and social – Social networks are an every day part of online life for many, yet the study reveals 12% of people have had a social network profile hacked into and 50% of people fail to use the highest security levels on Facebook. Keep your profile private and beware what you share online.
- Use common sense - Unsolicited emails or 'spam' flood inboxes every day claiming that you have won a prize or can sell you something cheaply. Treat every email with caution and if you do not know the sender or the offer comes out of the blue, delete it immediately.