According to a survey commissioned by public-private internet safety initiative Get Safe Online, more than half of UK citizens have fallen victim to cyber crime over the past few years.
The survey polled over 2,000 adults and the results were published to coincide with the Get Safe Online week campaign, aimed at raising awareness about ways to defend against online crime.
Half of those surveyed who admitted they had been victims of online crime, including fraud, identify theft, hacking and online abuse, felt they had been violated.
However, only 32% actually reported the crime while 47% said they did not know how to report an online crime, and more than half of mobile users and a third of laptop owners admitted they did not use a passcode or password to protect their devices.
Get Safe Online said they expect this figure to drop with the ongoing work of ActionFraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre.
Minister of the Cabinet Office Francis Maude believes the cyber market is worth over £80bn a year.
He added: "We cannot stand still in the face of these threats, which already cost our economy billions every year."
Maude said the goal is to make the UK one of the most secure places to do business in cyber space.
He said: "We have a £860m Cyber Security Programme, which supports law enforcement's response to cybercrime, and we are working with the private sector to help all businesses protect vital information assets.
"Our 'Get Safe Online' and 'Cyber Streetwise' campaigns provide easy to understand information for the public on how and why they should protect themselves.
"Cyber security is not an issue for government alone - we must all take action to defend ourselves against threats."
Return to internet news headlines
View Internet News Archive