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UK Fears Cyber Theft as the Biggest Crime

The UK has named cyber theft the biggest crime in the country with Britons feeling they are more vulnerable to Internet fraudsters than criminals of any other kind.

A research based on a survey of 1,400 or more regular Internet surfers under the supervision of AVG, makers of security software, reveals that 43% of Brits believe they are most susceptible to online theft compared to other crimes like burglary (29%), assault (18%), and robbery (11%).

About a quarter of the Internet users think that information on cyber theft is not sufficiently available to save them from the problem.

Around 33% of respondents reported that cyber theft in some form or another had victimized them. The crimes included credit card fraud, illegal bank transfers, and phishing attacks. The sums of money robbed were between a few pounds to thousands of pounds.

The survey found that there were an increasing number of online financial transactions where 85% of respondents shopped over the Internet and more than 66% preferred online banking. Despite these high figures, a large rate of 87% of respondents feared falling victim to cyber theft.

Albeit 90% of respondents said their computers had some software for protecting against threats, 33% of them were not sure their protective measures were adequate. Only 3% of those surveyed hadn't deployed any protective solution but 25% felt that enough information on cyber theft was not available to protect their systems adequately.

UK's city of Liverpool had the maximum fear of online theft with 93% expressing worry. Brighton was the most bored city although 79% regarded it as a highly concerned city.

While the dangers of Internet theft are real, they should be viewed with a relative approach, said AVG's Global Security Strategist, Larry Bridwell. ComputerWeekly published Bridwell's statement on October 29, 2007.

Bridwell said a number of precautionary measures could protect computer users such as deploying software for Internet security with regular updating, using only those Internet-payment systems that the industry recognizes, and checking the security of payment sites by making sure that they have the padlock symbol displayed.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

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