'Worrying' Number Of Britons Have Been Affected By Online Data Theft Or Identity Fraud

Expert Lawyers Call For Increased Security To Protect Customers And Businesses


Oliver Wicks, Press Officer | 0114 274 4649

New research has claimed that one in five people in the UK has been, or knows someone who has been, the victim of online data theft or identity fraud.

Expert lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell have reacted to the ‘worrying’ new findings by calling for more to be done to increase security and protect private and personal customer information from getting into the wrong hands.

The survey on personal security online by cyber security firm Miracl found that many people now feel nervous providing personal or financial information online in the wake of data breaches.

Some 40% of those surveyed said they had already received scam emails claiming to be from HMRC, asking for personal details. This is a hacking technique known as "phishing" where cyber criminals try to lure victims into handing over data.

Data hacking has becoming more and more prevalent with TalkTalk, JP Morgan, Sony, and Ashley Madison all suffering high profile breaches in recent years.

77% of those surveyed said they would feel better about providing personal information if the website had stronger security settings.

Irwin Mitchell provides support for businesses who are concerned about the dangers posed by cyber-attacks.

Georgie Collins, Partner and Intellectual Property, Media and Privacy specialist at Irwin Mitchell, feels that this is another wake up call for both companies and consumers on the web.

Expert Opinion
“It is extremely worrying to hear that one in five people have been affected by online data theft or identify fraud in some way. Unfortunately the reality in 2016 is that cyber-crime is a huge business and therefore everyone is at risk.

“Small businesses must not ignore the threat by wrongly believing that they’re not large enough to be the target of hackers or other cyber security issues.

“Big businesses must make sure they prioritise getting the best possible security in place. Whilst this may be at an additional expense getting hacked without this in place will equal a far greater cost.

“Internet suppliers must also introduce more layered security measures to increase consumer confidence and reduce the threat of hackers.

“Finally consumers must remain vigilant and regularly check their bank account, change and set different password and look out for suspicious emails or phone calls.

“It is positive to see that companies such as Google now provide an option where two levels of log-in need to be cleared before a user can gain access. This is a step in the right direction but more needs to be done to raise awareness of the threat and protect against future data theft or identity fraud attempts.”
Georgie Collins, Partner