97% of Brits worried about the threat of hacking

lulzsec.jpgAfter a number of recent high profile attacks on websites, networks and databases across the globe, it seems that more than 97% of people in the UK are increasingly worried about the threat of more hacking in the coming months, and want both big businesses and the government to start taking much firmer action.

These statistics come from a report titled A New Age of Hackers, written by Professor Majid Yar a leading cybercrime expert alongside software company PC Tools, which explains that up until recently there’s been an ‘awareness gap’ about computer crime, with most people assuming that they’d never fall victim to any kind of hacking because it just seems so unlikely. Now more people have witnessed all kinds of security breaches first hand, they’re much more aware of what’s going on, they now know what hacking actually is and are getting increasingly worried about becoming a victim themselves.

Unsurprisingly, this worry has been channelled into criticism of how large organisations dealt with problems at the time, with one in five Brits admitting they’ve lost trust in some of the big companies affected by the security breaches. One in six also believe that the government needs to be taking more responsibility to prevent future attacks and it shouldn’t just be about these large organisations ramping up their security, they need help from other sources too.

Interestingly, Brits seem divided when it comes to the right approach to take when dealing with convicted hackers, 40% say they’d like to see the government issue tougher penalties, around 37% want big organisations to invest more money in security and around 38% want hackers to be forced to channel their talents in better ways. Hmm, not sure how that last one will go down among the hacking communities.

Professor Majid Yar explains that the “lock them up and throw away the key” approach is probably not going to work.

“The tougher penalty approach has its flaws. In reality, very few members of the public actually know what the penalties are for those convicted – which in the UK is up to 5 years in prison – or how few hacking incidents actually ever lead to arrest and conviction, since it is so difficult to identify those responsible.”

And what are his tips for protecting ourselves if big businesses and the government don’t listen?

“The most viable way to protect computer users from hacking are: better security, technological counter-measures and user precautions.”

Becca Caddy

One thought on “97% of Brits worried about the threat of hacking

  • For the most part, users can protect themselfs by taking a basic computer course, keep their machines updated with antivirus and ensuring all their software is updated. Basic stuff but will help protect aganst most hackers on THEIR machine.

    However, when it comes to accounts outside of their control, such as CityBank getting hacked, or Sony network. Then there is little the users can do, even if they used a different, 100character long password etc. As the hackers got access to server where the accounts are held.

    What we need to see is online business and any site that provides online accounts, be responsible for the data they hold of its users. A lot of the recent hacks are so basic, you actually need to know how to protect yourself from them inorder to even setup the websites.

    When we have people this incompetent running the show, we should see the domain names removed from them for a week, or month until they can prove they have a secure server and service in place for its users to actuall use, safely.

    Its not 100% the hackers fault. In real world terms, if a bank left its door open one night and someone went inside and and photocopied all the account, Whos fault would it be? yeah most people would blame the bank for leaving the door open. Its the same thing as online, with the hackers.

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