Internet users concerned by cyber security risks
Jul 10 2012, 13:33 PM
As the internet increases in popularity, so do the threats that face consumers when they shop online, research shows.
Poor data maintenance can cause customers' information to be breached, leaving them at the risk of identity theft so, with this in mind, it is vital that they feel as comfortable as possible about the sites they are visiting.
There are measures that web users can take to lower the likelihood of their data being stolen, such as installing anti-virus software, but these efforts are not always effective in preventing the problems.
A new Eurobarometer survey by the European Commission has highlighted the many worries that consumers have when it comes to the internet.
It found that 89 per cent of consumers avoid disclosing personal information online, while 74 per cent feel that the risk of becoming affected by cyber crime has risen in the last year.
On top of this, 12 per cent of internet users throughout the European Union have already encountered online fraud, while eight per cent have been hit by identify theft.
It is to be expected that such incidents would lead to more stringent security measures from consumers, which is why it is worrying that only 53 per cent have altered their passwords in the last year.
While customers can take the above measures to ensure that they are best protected from data theft, businesses can also work to lower the likelihood of cyber crime.
IT security consultant Kevin Wharram believes that company leaders need to guarantee that all of their staff have completed satisfactory data management training, which could prove key in lowering the likelihood of information being stolen.
Mr Wharram added that such training needs to be interactive, rather than consisting of an email.
However, experts are still learning about the methods of hackers, with Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, noting: "Cybercriminals must not be allowed to disrupt our use of the internet. The more we know about the risks and how to protect ourselves, the more we can truly maximise our digital lives."