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Most UK office workers ‘suspicious’ of the Internet

14% of us have been badly affected by cybercrime, PhishMe study finds.

By Vinod

More than half of UK office workers have admitted to not knowing which websites to trust when it comes to using the Internet, a new survey has revealed.

A study by security provider PhishMe found that 60% of workers find it difficult deciding which sources to trust online, but that this is understandable given that 14% of us have been badly affected by some form of cybercrime.

Quizzing 1,000 workers across the UK, PhishMe surveyed attitudes when using a variety of different websites, finding that trust was highest in banking websites, which were trusted by 55% of respondents.

However, very few other categories of website scored as high in the trust rating, with 19% saying they trusted online retailers, 6% trust the media, and only 0.3% saying they trusted online dating sites.

"Given the media attention on recent data breaches against seemingly safe organisations, it doesn’t surprise me that UK office workers feel vulnerable in the online world," Rohyt Belani, CEO and co-founder of PhishMe, said of the findings.

"Phishing attacks are rife in the digital world and it is vital that Internet users be wary of providing personal information which could be used against them for nefarious purposes. Organisations should provide staff with training on how to spot online threats because the attackers will often go after employees first, if they want to compromise an organisation’s network."

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The survey also found that this lack of trust was well-founded, as one in seven respondents either knew someone who had been affected by some kind of cybercrime, or had been a victim themselves.

Of the group that had been affected, the effects of the crime were extremely damaging, with over half experiencing financial loss, and over a fifth losing data. Over a third were left with an infected computer, another major financial cost of the threats.

"The fact that one in seven office workers have already been affected by cybercrime should be a big concern for organisations," said Belani, who added that BYOD policies and the use of consumer cloud applications within the work place could allow threats to get into a corporate network without being spotted.

"Organisations that provide their employees with continuous security training will not only be significantly more prepared, they will also be able to leverage their employees for an additional source of threat intelligence."

Earlier this year, a PhishMe survey found that UK workers are being targeted more than ever by phishing attacks, with the majority receiving up to 10 attacks a day.

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