More Brits are afraid of being mugged online than of being burgled in the real world, new figures reveal.
The findings are from a survey conducted by the UK government as part of the relaunch of a website that raises awareness of security threats on the internet, including viruses, spyware and identity fraud.
Some 21 per cent of respondents felt most at risk from cyber-criminals, compared to 16 per cent who most feared being burgled.
About 18 per cent of those interviewed will not shop online, 21 per cent will not bank online and 17 per cent will not use the internet at all because of fears of cyber-crime.
The site offers advice for individual PC users, families and small businesses, but antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab warned that a number of evolving threats are not covered by the site.
"We have seen an increase in new extortion trends, such as ransomware, that sees criminals demanding cash from victims for the return of personal data, photographs and files that the criminals have encrypted," said David Emm, senior technology consultant and crimeware expert at the company.
Kaspersky claimed that its recent survey of PC-literate users who have already taken precautions found that 26 per cent had experienced a security breach in the past 12 months.
Asked how their security was compromised, 63 per cent claimed that spyware, adware and pop-ups were responsible. Sixteen per cent felt that Trojans were to blame, while 13 per cent believed that viruses were the main culprit.
Kaspersky offers its own Staying Safe Online guide.
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