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Government urges people in the East Midlands to take cyber security as seriously as home security

Posted on 22nd February 2017

People in the East Midlands are not applying the same level of security online as offline despite the increased risk, according to new statistics out today from Government cyber security campaign, Cyber Aware.

While 82% of households in the UK have double locks or deadlocks and 89% have window locks, when it comes to online security, only 39% of people in the East Midlands follow the latest government advice to use three random words to create a strong password.

Latest figures from ONS show that cybercrime was one of the most common offences committed in 2016, with an estimated 2m cybercrime incidents, compared to 686,000 domestic burglary offences.

The latest statistics point to a clear gap between intention and action when it comes to people protecting themselves from cybercrime, with few taking the basic precautions despite 73% of people in the East Midlands agreeing ‘It’s up to me to make sure I keep secure when I’m online’.

According to the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, using three random words to create a strong password and always downloading the latest software or app updates, are the best ways for people to protect themselves.  

A weak password can allow hackers to use victims’ email to gain access to many of their personal accounts, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.  Meanwhile, software or app updates contain vital security upgrades which protect devices from viruses and hackers. The most common reason respondents across the East Midlands gave for not downloading the latest software updates (19%) was that it ‘takes too long’. In reality, it only takes a few minutes, compared to the time it can take to recover from a cyber hack.

Detective Sergeant Rob Pugh from East Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit said: “We know people are great at looking after their home security, but when it comes to protecting themselves online they are increasingly putting themselves at risk. This is worrying as the consequences of cybercrime can be extensive.

“Just a few small steps can save a lot of time, money and embarrassment. Always download the latest software and app updates and use three random words to create a strong password. ”

To help bring the impact of cybercrime to life, Cyber Aware has launched a new video, filmed in Manchester, showing victims of cybercrime talking about the effect it has had on their lives. 

Alison Marriott, a victim of hacking said: “The whole experience was very distressing. Emails were being sent from my account to my contacts which I had no control over. It caused a great deal of embarrassment as there were lots of phone calls to be made to explain the situation and having to tell people your email has been hacked makes you feel stupid. It was also very inconvenient and took days to sort out - I didn’t realise quite how many passwords I had until I had to change them all!”

To find out more about Cyber Aware visit their website here 


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