The true scale of cybercrime has been revealed by the most in-depth survey of its kind ever undertaken in Warwickshire.
‘Cybercrime – The Real Story’ was commissioned jointly by Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety Team and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, with the survey undertaken earlier this year by Warwickshire Observatory.
People were asked to share their experiences of online crime through a series of 36 questions. The key findings of the survey were:
- Over half of respondents were targeted by phishing scams, with 1 in 10 going on to become victims
- 1 in 5 that spend over 7 hours a day online will become a victim of cyber crime
- As age increases, knowledge of online crime risks reduces slightly, while the feeling of being at risk increases significantly
- Under 18s are the age group most targeted for online harassment or bullying with female respondents targeted twice as much as males
- Nearly one third of parents have neither applied online restrictions nor spoken to their children about internet safety
- 2.4% of respondents had no idea how to protect themselves online
The survey suggests that 82,200 people fell victim to online crime in Warwickshire in the last 12 months with losses suffered by victims estimated to be £2.5 million each year. If the figures for Warwickshire are representative of the picture nationally, it would suggest that online criminals have successfully targeted 9.6 million victims in the past year, costing them some £300 million.
Details of the survey were launched at a conference of practitioners from across policing and local government yesterday (Tuesday 29 September) at the UK Headquarters of IBM in Warwick. Alongside the findings, the audience was given an overview of the work being carried out across the county to tackle cybercrime by police and local government, and training on how to spot and prevent cybercrime by Rob Hadfield from Get Safe Online.
Visit the Warwickshire Observatory website for the full survey report.
A video highlighting the key findings is also available on You Tube.