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Keep Safe Online

High profile news stories such as the recent Phishing attacks on banking websites and Webmail services such as Hotmail and GMail frequently brings the importance of online security to the attention of the general public.

But for millions of unsuspecting home owners and smaller businesses it is often too late.

Being secure online doesn't have to be a burdensome task. It doesn't have to take up much time and it doesn't have to cost a lot money, as long as a few basic rules are implemented and maintained.

On this page:

The Costs of cyber crime

In 2012, a team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge presented their worrying findings to the UK Ministry of Defence:

  • The annual cost of cyber crime to the UK economy is £27bn, roughly 1.8% of GDP.
  • In the first half of 2010, Microsoft cleared 'Botnet' malware from over 1m British computers.
  • Worldwide, banks invested over $1bn per year as 'countermeasures'.
  • In excess of $1bn per year is lost in 'Advanced Fee' fraud, often known as the 'Nigerian 419' fraud.
  • In 2007, between 280,000 and 560,000 people were taken in by fake websites.

Online security is an essential part of every day life for individuals and businesses alike, but without adequate knowledge and awareness, security will always take a back seat against other priorities, such as maintaining adequate cash flow (in the case of the smaller business), or feeding the children (in the case of the homeowner).

There is a direct correlation between the level of security people have at home with the level of security people have at work. It is often the case that when an organisation implements an information security awareness programme, people take the information on board and follow through at home too.

10 steps to Online Safety

There are Ten simple steps which will dramatically reduce the liklihood of a business or small home network from falling victim to hackers, phishing attacks, viruses and so on. To find out what these 10 simple steps are simply fill in the form below and we'll email you the free guide immediately.

Online, Keep Safe Resources:

Below are some free online resources which any smaller business or home owner will find useful:

What are the potential implications of becoming a cybersecurity victim?

  • PWC/DTI Information Security Breaches Survey 2012
    • 93% large businesses suffered security incident last year
    • Average cost of worst incident for large business £110k to £250k
    • The average large organisation had 71 security breaches in the previous year, up from just 45 two years previously.
  • National High Tech Crime Unit survey 2004
    • Of 201 respondents 167 (83%) experienced high-tech crime in 2003
    • Impact of these crimes > £195million
  • What would it cost your company?

Plymouth council fined £60k for child record data breach

The Information Commissioner's Office issued a £60,000 monetary penalty after details of a child neglect case were sent by Plymouth City Council to the wrong recipient.

"This incident happened because not enough care was being taken within the organisation when handling vulnerable people's sensitive information," said Stephen Eckersley, the regulator's head of enforcement., 22 November 2012.

Manchester plods cop £125k fine for USB-stick-inna-wallet data gaffe

The Greater Manchester Police Force have paid a £125,000 fine after losing the details of more than a thousand people under investigation for serious drugs crime.

The personal details were kept on an unencrypted memory stick with no password protection, belonging to an officer with the Serious Crime Division team. Kept in the officer's wallet it went AWOL in July 2011 after the wallet was swiped from his kitchen table when his home was burgled.

David Smith, ICO Director of Data Protection, said: "This was truly sensitive personal data, left in the hands of a burglar by poor data security. The consequences of this type of breach really do send a shiver down the spine."
The Register, 16 October 2012.

NHS lost track of 1.8m patient records in a year with sensitive information found in public bin and for sale on the internet

The total is the equivalent of nearly 5,000 records going missing every day. Error saw details of terminally ill patients were faxed to the wrong number. Fines totaling £1million levied against NHS bodies in the last six months.
Jack Doyle, Daily Mail, 29 October 2012.

Three arrested over internet phishing bank scam

The arrests followed reports that 2,000 phishing pages, which copy genuine bank sites, were put online to dupe people into entering confidential details. A large number of accounts were then illegally accessed and had money withdrawn.
BBC News Online, 30 October 2012.

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