Better passwords could help protect against cyber crime threat

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Better passwords could help protect against cyber crime threat

Simon Quicke

With people more likely to fall victim to cyber crime rather than physical acts of violence or robbery the security industry is facing a need to deliver more user education.

One of the main themes that came out of a recent UKFast roundtable was that the chances of someone being a victim of cyber crime were now much greater and more likely than previously and more had to be done to encourage awareness of users around passwords and best practices.

"It is vital to protect your information as well as possible. Passwords need to be long, complex and changed regularly. Most importantly, we should have different passwords for each account, so if one account is compromised we are not gifting access to every one of our accounts and profiles," said Neil Lathwood, UKFast's IT director.

Recent figures from the latest Norton Security report 2011 have tried to size the problem being faced by users and Tony Dyhouse, cyber security director with the ICT Knowledge Transfer Network, used those figures to put the the threat into context.

"Fourteen people every second are falling victim to cyber crime and more than two thirds of online adults have been a victim of cyber crime in their lifetime - that's 431m adult victims every year and a very significant number," he said.

David Cook, solicitor advocate and cyber security expert at the Manchester office of Pannone, said that the losses due to cyber crime were now matching the annual worth of the drugs market.

"Comparing cyber crime to street crime, anyone can be a victim of cybercrime because everyone has a computer, a mobile device or a set top unit and it's very easy for anyone to commit a cyber crime. Most people wouldn't have the bottle to break into a house but a hell of a lot of people would find it easy in a room at home on their own to click a few buttons and see where they could go," he said.


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