LONDON One in 10 Internet users fell victim to
online fraud last year, losing an average of 875 pounds each,
according to a survey on Monday.
Many failed to take basic steps to protect themselves
online and fewer than half felt they were wholly responsible
for their safety while using the Internet.
Six percent had suffered fraud while shopping online, four
percent had experienced general fraud and three percent were
subject to bank or credit card crime.
The survey of 2,400 people was carried out by YouGov for
Get Safe Online, a campaign group set up by the government,
police and private companies.
"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,"
said Cabinet Office minister Pat McFadden.
Nearly half said they did not have protection from spyware,
computer software that secretly collects personal information
when people use the Internet.
A fifth of those polled said they had replied to spam
messages and 10 percent had clicked on an Internet link within
a spam e-mail.
Nearly a quarter said most of their online security
passwords were the same. Five percent used the same password
for every site.
Tony Neate, managing director of Get Safe Online, said
people must do more to help prevent fraud.
"If we all take greater care to protect our personal
information online, we can reduce the majority of these
criminal activities," he said. "Our message is that each one of
us has to take greater personal responsibility for our own
Fewer than half of those polled felt responsible for their
online safety. One in six said it was down to their bank to
protect their details and 13 percent said their Internet
service provider must shoulder the burden.
More than three-quarters felt there should be lessons in
schools to help children to stay safe on the Internet.