UK Online Identities Worth £14,500 To Online Criminals

A survey conducted by Get Safe Online and backed by Microsoft, SOCA and the Government, showed that the average identity is worth roughly £14,500 to online criminals but can be purchased for as little as £80.

The study conducted in the wake of the Get Safe Online week found out that 20 percent of respondents used the same password for their various internet accounts which means that hackers could easily have access to their online accounts if they manage to grab just one login/password pair.

This is especially troubling given that three out of five respondents say that they manage their money online and nearly a quarter of those surveyed say that they had either been or knew someone who had suffered from a phishing attack.

That's not surprising though as 20 percent of those questioned said that they had replied to spammy messages and one in ten had click on an internet link in a spam email - which often redirects you to a phishing website or a malware-laden page.

Personal data collected varies widely but can include credit card details, cardholders' names, address, date of birth and driving licence numbers.

Disturbingly, half of those surveyed did not update their antivirus application often while almost 25 percent said that they did not have any protection against spyware.

The ICM conducted the survey on behalf of Get Safe Online and interviewed 1400 adults in the UK who have access to the internet.

Latest figures from APACS show that online fraud costs the banking sector around £23 million in 2007, more than double the 2004 level and affected around 100,000 UK citizens.

Related Links

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- Get Safe Online website

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- Report warns of ID fraud threat

- Web users fail to update anti-virus software

- Public still vulnerable to web fraud

- Customers' banking information on sale for just £5