Barclays has conducted a study that assesses digital safety awareness among adults across the 12 nations and regions of the UK.
It seeks to both understand current levels of awareness, as well as investigate the extent to which better awareness can help protect against cyber crime.
The scores are based on responses to a survey of digital knowledge and skills among 6,000 adults in the UK, conducted by Barclays in February and March 2017.
- London is a digital “black spot” within the UK, both in terms of awareness and susceptibility to crime. In most parts of the UK, differences in Digital Safety awareness scores vary only marginally. The exception, however, is the UK capital, which languishes at the bottom of the regional index.
- Edinburgh comes in at fourth place on the list with a ‘Digital Safety Score’ of 6.25 (compared to 6.49 for top-scoring ‘Rural areas’ and 5.85 for London). Glasgow scores 6.05.
- Cities in general perform more poorly than rural areas. The report considers that a possible explanation for the poor scoring could be “the wider range of activities Londoners (and other city dwellers) carry out online, such as swiping their phones to access public transport and connecting to free public wifi, which could be driving complacency in other areas of their digital lives.”
- One in four people have experienced a cyber fraud or scam in the past three years, supporting recent official estimates that most cyber crimes go unreported. A startling 25% of adults say they have fallen victim to a cyber fraud or scam at least once in the past three years.
- In contrast to common stereotypes, older respondents actually score better on digital safety awareness than their younger counterparts, and also experienced far less cyber crime.
“Online scams are very prevalent. Criminals call the victim, for example, and pretend to be from a software company. They say they have spotted an error on the victim’s computer, and ask the victim to log in and give them the control of the computer. That happens so often, and people believe it. We need to make people more aware of these scams.” – Emma Philpott, Founder of the UK Cyber Security Forum
The full Barclays Digital Safety Index findings are available here.