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Britons fear cybercrime more than burglaries
by Konstantin Kornakov | Oct 10 2006 13:39 GMT

A survey released by the UK government has revealed that the British public is now more fearful of cybercrime than burglary and crimes against the person such as muggings. Results of the online study were released by the UK government at the beginning of the Get Safe Online Week. The survey was carried out by Get Safe Online, a cybersecurity awareness campaign launched last year by the British government, UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency and private technology companies.

According to its results, Internet users fear bankcard fraud the most (27 percent), followed by cybercrime (21 percent) and burglary (16 percent). This shows that hi-tech crime has firmly overtaken conventional burglaries, muggings and thefts in the list of the public's fears. Interestingly, though, the Internet has become firmly embedded into the British society, with some 57 percent of households having online access. The connection's quality is also important for Britons, with 69% of connected households preferring to go for Broadband.

According to the survey, 52 percent of those questioned did some of their banking online; nearly a third (32 percent) used the Internet to pay their bills, while just under a quarter (23 percent) shopped for groceries over the net. However, the perceived increased dangers of the cyberworld are making themselves felt as well. In all, 24 percent of respondents claimed they would not use Internet banking, and 18 percent said they feared online shopping. A huge 17 percent also felt that the dangers far outweighed the positive aspects and preferred not to use the Internet at all.

Not all may be due to inherent external dangers, though: the get Safe Online survey also found that 17 percent of users had no antivirus protection and almost a quarter (23 percent) had opened an email attachment from an unknown source. According to Patrick McFadden, a junior minister at the Cabinet Office quoted in The Guradian: "Fear of online crime is an important issue that must not be ignored. Otherwise we will lose out on the enormous economic and social benefits that the Internet provides. Provided they take sensible precautions to protect themselves, there is no reason why the overwhelming majority of people should not be able to enjoy the Internet safely."



Get Safe Online
The Guardian