With record numbers falling victim to online crime, the loss of nearly £9m by Warwickshire adults is among the shocking findings of the second cyber crime survey, emphasising how important it for all residents to take charge of their online safety before it’s too late.
Today (Wednesday 21 June 2017), Warwickshire County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner launched their report into the findings of the second cyber crime survey for Warwickshire, which was completed by record number of Warwickshire respondents in late 2016.
The key findings of this survey were:
- There have been nearly 15,000 successful phishing scams in Warwickshire in the last 12 months.
- Over 5,500 residents have been a victim of an online romance scam.
- 9,900 have been victim of identity fraud.
- 30,000 fell victim to viruses and malware.
- Over 6,000 online hate crimes.
- Other online fraud and theft equates to a further 21,500 victims.
While the biggest impact reported by respondents was psychological and emotional, it is estimated that at least £8,848,300 has been lost by Warwickshire adults as a result of cyber crime, which equates to every adult in the county losing just over £20.
In terms of awareness of the risks posed to residents by their activity online, only 59% of respondents felt they were at risk when using online services. However, 87% felt either reasonably or very confident that they knew how to protect themselves online and only 1% of respondents had no idea how to protect themselves.
Compared to the first annual cyber crime survey in 2015, while a higher proportion of the public feel at risk online (44% in 2015, compared to 59% now), fewer people have no idea how they can protect themselves online (2.4% in 2015, compared to <1% now).
Cllr Howard Roberts, Warwickshire County Council portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “The results of the second cyber crime survey should be a wake-up call to all Warwickshire residents to start taking their cyber security seriously. As we conduct more of our lives in the online sphere, the risks posed to us all will increase exponentially year-on-year.
“From the results of our survey, we can see there are still 41% of respondents who do not feel at risk through their online activity and to those people we would seek to remind that no one is immune from this form of crime.”
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe, who jointly commissioned the survey, said: “I’m grateful to everyone who took the time to complete the survey this year, as it helps the police and other agencies to have a better understanding of the changing picture of cyber crime. The results show there has been good progress since the last survey, with more people aware of the risks than before and fewer people saying they have no idea of how to protect themselves online.
“The focus for the next 12 months must therefore be to continue to spread the message that cyber crime poses a risk to all of our online activities but, with some simple precautions, everyone can massively decrease their chances of falling victim. I am continuing to ensure that tackling cyber crime remains a priority for the police, while the work I fund through the Cyber Crime Advisors and the launch of the new Cyber Safe Warwickshire website will play a major part in helping people to become more cyber security conscious.”
Sam Slemensek and Alex Gloster, Warwickshire’s Cyber Crime Advisors, added: “Cyber Crime is having a huge impact on Warwickshire communities and the emotional and financial wellbeing of our residents, but there are simple steps that all residents can take to mitigate their exposure to risks online. The new Cyber Safe Warwickshire Website has been created to raise the profile of the issues and ensure the tide is turned on the number of people falling victim to online crime in its various guises.”
You can find out about cyber crime in Warwickshire and how to protect yourself by visiting the new website with handy tips, tricks and videos relating to online safety: www.cybersafewarwickshire.com
You can also follow the Cyber Safe Warwickshire Team on Twitter: @CyberSafeWarks and Facebook.
Read the full survey results: Warwickshire Cyber Crime Survey 2017 Analysis