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20 percent in UK have been cybercrime victims – are you safe?

Almost one in five people in the United Kingdom have had their online accounts hacked, according to a recent survey on cybercrime. More than 1,500 people were surveyed for the study which will become the first of many over the coming years.

Around 2.3 percent lost more than £10,000 due to cybercrime and 6 percent have had their accounts, social network passwords, email passwords, banking or gaming passwords compromised more than once. People aged between 55 and 64 years old are least likely to be successfully targeted by online crime according to the University of Kent’s Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Cyber Security.

Researchers suggest that this may be because they aren’t so active on the internet and have fewer activities and accounts.

83.1 percent lost nothing as a result of online security breaches, but 11.6 percent have lost more than £65.

Centre Director Dr Eerke Bolten added “Our results highlight that there is significant scope for the UK population and the online services they use to adopt stronger security practices.”

A large percentage of people are still using very weak passwords. Adding numbers, random digits and capitalised letters when possible into the passwords will help improve the chances against your account being hacked. Also keep passwords longer than 6 digits, preferably 9 or more.

A good antivirus client can help secure a machine against dodgy incoming email attachments (or just use common sense and don’t open them). Also using OS software to protect against spyware and running regular scans of rogue browser cookies is recommended. Logging into accounts in a cyber cafe and not properly removing traces of passwords is another common problem for security breaches. Using different passwords for every website is also beneficial.

The most popular (and weakest) passwords are:

1. password (Unchanged) 
2, 123456 (Unchanged) 
3. 12345678 (Unchanged) 
4. abc123 (Up 1) 
5. qwerty (Down 1) 
6. monkey (Unchanged) 
7. letmein (Up 1) 
8. dragon (Up 2) 
9. 111111 (Up 3) 
10. baseball (Up 1) 
11. iloveyou (Up 2) 
12. trustno1 (Down 3) 
13. 1234567 (Down 6) 
14. sunshine (Up 1) 
15. master (Down 1) 
16. 123123 (Up 4) 
17. welcome (New) 
18. shadow (Up 1) 
19. ashley (Down 3) 
20. football (Up 5) 
21. jesus (New) 
22. michael (Up 2) 
23. ninja     (New) 
24. mustang (New) 
25. password1 (New)

Source: Splashdata

Kitguru says: How secure are your accounts online?

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