Three in five (58%) consumers in the UK have suffered a data breach in the last year, according to global cybersecurity company DynaRisk. From running approximately 760,758 data scans over the past 12 months, the company can reveal the extensive nature of data breaches across the world, but particularly the UK, which has experienced more breaches than the New Zealand, Canada and most of Europe.
According to the intelligence team at DynaRisk, consumers with BT email addresses have suffered the greatest number of breaches (72%), compared with Hotmail (62%), Gmail (60%) and Yahoo (55%).
However, it was also revealed that through using cybersecurity tools and services, consumer cyber hygiene habits can be improved despite a greater number of breaches. DynaRisk’s Cyber Security Score assesses how safe an individual is online, based on several personal risk factors – much like a credit score.
Based on analysis of over 1200 users, the average Cyber Security Score of consumers in the UK increased by 26% in the last 12 months, suggesting that users in the UK are taking more steps to protect their online information; displaying less personal ‘risk’ factors than previously. The new data also revealed that the average score for users in the UK is higher than that of the USA and other European countries, suggesting UK consumers are more proactive at improving their habits.
Andrew Martin, CEO, DynaRisk said, “At DynaRisk, we assess the digital behaviour of consumers and identify any potential security vulnerabilities; providing a score out of 999. It’s encouraging to see that the average score in the UK is now so high (800) and has increased by so much from this time last year. Consumers are clearly becoming more aware and more protective of their online information in the UK; and getting better at arming themselves against an ever-increasing number of cyber threats.
But there is still a lot of room for improvement; particularly given that we’re seeing so many email addresses that have been compromised across some of the most popular providers. Every year, there are more and more victims of cybercrime as a direct result of increased cyber-attacks, breaches and leaked data. People should always be cautious when signing up to digital services using their email addresses and should take extra care to secure each account with complex, unique passwords and two-factor authentication where possible.
This will reduce the risk of crimes such as credential stuffing and fraudulent activity taking place, as well as reduce the risk of being targeted for phishing scams. These scams are becoming incredibly sophisticated and difficult to spot, and usually become more common at specific times of the year like Christmas.
Unfortunately, companies can never do enough to protect customer data, however, constant investment and training needs to be put in place by all companies to ensure customer information is as safe as it can be. All companies big and small now need to have cybersecurity at the top of the agenda. Naturally, this is especially crucial for social media and tech companies that possess and store large amounts of data. That said, it’s crucial for consumers to take a level of responsibility for their online personal security too.”