From secure passwords to app updates: Londoners warned to take cyber-security as seriously as home security

As statistics show cybercrime incidences overtaking burglary, the government is urging people to protect themselves online.

People living in London are not taking online security as seriously as offline security, according to the stats from Cyber Aware, the Government’s cyber-security campaign.

Latest figures from Office of National Statistics show that cyber-crimes are more prevalent that domestic burglary offences, with an estimated two million incidents in comparison to 686,000.Yet, while 82% of London households have double locks and 89% use window locks to keep their homes secure, just 35% follow the Government’s latest password advice to keep their online life safe. The weaker the password, the greater the risk of being hacked and the more vulnerable you are to fraud.

In addition, only 55% of people regularly download the latest software updates. These are often security updates to keep devices safe from hackers and viruses, yet 19% of Londoners said downloading updates ‘takes too long’, when in fact it can take just minutes.**

According to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), people can protect themselves by using three random words when choosing a password and by always downloading the latest software and app updates.

In the Cyber Aware film, which you can check out below, cybercrime victims in Manchester talk about the impact cyber-security breaches have had on their lives, including Alison Marriott whose emails were hacked.

The UK Government is investing £1.9 billion in cyber-security.  Security Minister Ben Wallace said: “The latest crime statistics from the Office for National Statistics clearly demonstrate how crime is changing and the way in which criminals are targeting people online. “

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Gould from the Met Police said cyber crime is a common offence, so it’s more important than ever to make yourself aware of the risks and protect yourself.

“We are dedicated to tackling this serious issue and enlist your help by urging you to take responsibility. Always downloading the latest software and app updates and using three random words to create a strong password will makes it harder for viruses and hackers to infiltrate your devices; it really is that simple,” he said.

As a BT Broadband customer you can get BT Virus Protect absolutely free to help protect your home computer against threats.  BT has just released a version to protect Android smartphones and tablets from malware.

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