Over two-thirds of British adults are unaware how to report cybercrime, with many admitting they feel uninformed about attacks, according to a new study.
Digital agency Reboot Online analyzed European Commission data from across the region, to better understand the general public’s cyber-preparedness.
Although 68% of Brits said they didn’t know how to report cybercrime or illegal online behavior, this was lower than the European average (77%). Spain and Denmark (both 86%) topped the EU list, followed by Romania (84%), France (82%) and Sweden (81%).
This puts the UK 13th on the list of 17 countries, with Malta (46%) and Greece (58%) home to the most clued-up citizens.
This is concerning given cybercrime levels continue to rise: offenses reported by businesses and individuals in the 12 months to March 2020 surged 23%, according to the ONS. Experts have also criticized process failures at Action Fraud which meant that many reports of fraud were not being investigated.
Reboot Online managing director, Shai Aharony, argued that consumers needed to become more vigilant in the face of rising cybercrime levels.
“Taking small actions such as familiarizing yourself with government-backed cybercrime agencies/bodies and applying their recommended best practices to your online actions can play a monumental role in reducing the risk of you becoming a victim of cybercrime,” he added.
“However, this research also goes to show that these governmental cybercrime agencies/bodies need to better promote themselves to the public to make them aware of their role, operations and support services when it comes to cybercrime.”
In another sign that public awareness on what to do following a cybercrime incident is still too low, a new report has revealed that millions of Brits are unlikely to take any further action following a breach.
The study from law firm Simpson Millar reportedly claimed that more than half (56%) of respondents were unsure what they should do after their personal information is lost or stolen. Only two-fifths (39%) said they even know what to do to secure their data in the first place.