Cybercrime is getting personal and expensive for the average Joe

Following last week's news that the Office for National Statistics included cybercrime in its crime statistics report for the first time ever, Get Safe Online has released its own cybercrime research.

The survey revealed that over a fifth (21 per cent) of cybercrime victims believe that they were specifically targeted by hackers and cyber criminals.

Just 38 per cent of victims put the incident down to bad luck and 57 per cent believe that it is becoming easier to fall foul of online criminal activities such as phishing attacks and malware.

Matt Bradford, head of the national fraud intelligence bureau at the City of London Police said: "Fraudsters are cashing in online and are using the internet to commit crimes which they would never have been able to execute in previous decades. As this type of offending continues to increase and the internet becomes a playground for criminals, it is important that members of the public do everything they can to stop themselves becoming a victim of fraud and cyber crime."

He went on to say that internet users need to "think about their online behaviour and ensure that they do everything they can to protect themselves."

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, also issued advice for users to protect themselves: "there are simple steps we can all take to protect ourselves online, including putting a password on any of your connected devices such as your phone or tablet, using the highest security settings on your social media accounts and never disclosing your confidential details when you are contacted by an email or on the phone - a legitimate organisation would never ask you to do this," he said.

The survey also found that over two fifths (41 per cent) of of cybercrime victims suffered a financial loss, with £738 being the average amount lost.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Benoit Daoust