Internet users across the European Union are becoming increasingly concerned about online fraud, with 74% suggesting it has risen in the past year, according to a new report.
Of those online, 12% have already fallen victim to online fraud, through scams such as phishing emails, while 8% have had their identities stolen, the new Eurobarometer data shows.
Despite this, 53% of the 27,000 people questioned had not changed any of their online passwords in the past year, putting them at a greater risk from this kind of crime. More than half also admitted to not knowing enough about the potential risks of cybercrime.
Main reasons for going online
[SPOTLIGHT]When looking at what people use the internet for, 53% said they primarily use it to buy goods and services. That's no great surprise, as shopping online is not only convenient, but also offers you extra protection. To find out more, check out Know your online shopping rights and get consumer protection.
The study found that 52% use the internet for for social networking sites. Sites like Facebook and twitter are a double-edged sword for many. While it is possible to make money from them, there are also risks that you may give away too much information about yourself on them. Read How your phone spies on you for more.
48% use the internet for online banking and 20% for selling products. If you like to use the internet to flog different bits and pieces, be sure to check out Sell for less: the alternatives to eBay.
How can I protect myself from online fraud?
To deal with the problem, the EU Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) are preparing a new EU strategy for cyber security.
There are plenty of simple things you can do, from never clicking on links in emails to ensuring that the website is secure before entering any personal details or card numbers.
However, setting passwords is also key. Check out LinkedIn, eHarmony: how to protect your PINs and passwords for more.
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