Latest Verisign study finds 11 percent of UK users have been victims of fraudsters

If you’re using the Internet you need to take sensible precautions and be constantly on the alert for phishing and fraudsters, warns online infrastructure services provider VeriSign, which this week released the results of its latest internet safety study.

The US company’s latest biannual Online Fraud Barometer survey shows that 11 percent of the UK’s online population has been the victim of some form of Internet identification fraud over the past year.

The study was conducted for Verisign by the research firm YouGov over four days in mid-February, and involved a sample of 2 083 adults across civil society.

Fortunately, among those who had been the victim of fraudulent attempts 12 percent had suffered no financial loss. Verisign interpreted this as an indication that crooks may be shifting their efforts from targeting financial information to obtaining personal details.

YouGov researchers found that victims over the past twelve months lost an average of GBP352 due to online identification fraud, with 12 percent still waiting to be fully reimbursed. This figure represents a slight improvement since the firm’s previous Online Fraud Barometer when 14 percent were still waiting.

“Online criminals only need three pieces of information to steal your digital identity,” Phil D’Angio, Business Development Director for VeriSign said.

“While online identification theft may not necessarily result in immediate financial loss, web users need to remember that fraudsters can farm e-mail and social networking sites for information that enables them to impersonate you online. Alternatively, they could sell your information to other cyber criminals who want to use your details for criminal purposes.

“Consumers need to remain vigilant at all times by reading a site’s security policies, checking their privacy settings and looking out for security certificates and seals.

“Businesses can differentiate themselves in this challenging economic climate by bolstering security on their websites and by showing consumers exactly how secure they are through techniques like strong authentication or EV SSL, which turns the address bar of a secure site green, effectively giving consumers the green light for transacting online.”

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