The government is stepping up measures to fight cybercrime

Almost half of UK consumers have experienced cybercrime

44 per cent of UK consumers have been hit with cybercrime at some point, with half of those (22 per cent) experiencing it in the last year.

The results, published in the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, suggests that the problem is getting worse.

The report surveyed more than 1,000 consumers across the UK and found that many blame cybercrime on foreign countries and governments and are more likely to believe these are the culprits than the global average. 45 per cent of UK respondents pointed the finger at foreign governments, compared to 35 per cent globally.

Over the last year, consumers in the UK lost more than one working day dealing with the fallout from online crime and nearly £134 per person on average, totalling an estimated £1.6bn across the nation.

Among those who were subject to cybercrime in the past year, more than one in 10 UK victims indicated their identity was stolen with one in seven saying their financial information had been stolen after shopping online.

Nick Shaw, of Norton Business Unit, said: "We no longer need convincing of the risks. Our findings demonstrate that people's trust in online activity has been rattled, yet there still is not widespread adoption of simple protection measures that people should take to safeguard their information online."

Despite the widespread concerns, the study found that 42 per cent in the UK said they did not take the time to change their account passwords after a security compromise or break.

Tony Neate, chief executive of Get Safe Online, said: "What's concerning is that fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks, using people's individual data to target victims while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity.”

The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report is an online survey of 17,125 consumers aged 18 or over, conducted in 17 countries, including a UK sample of 1,007 people.

Cybercrime has featured prominently in recent times, with the Internet Service Provider TalkTalk admitting it had taken a £35m hit after customer details were stolen in a data hack.

The government has urged UK businesses to undergo a 'cyber health check' to make their systems more robust and has doubled spending on cyber security.

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