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UK consumers face 1 in 63 chance of attack online

02 September 2010 - 09:49 by Graham Miller

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A new survey by antivirus vendor AVG has found that the chances of a UK internet user having the security of their computers compromised by malware or other hacking techniques are one in 64, which is significantly higher than the global average.

The UK was ranked 30th in a list that analysed the world's most dangerous locations in which to browse the internet. AVG has analysed data from over one hundred million computers located in 144 different countries to come to this conclusion. The average risk of attack is said to be one in 73, which marks out the UK as being riskier than Africa and China when it comes to safe shopping online.

AVG's Roger Thomson pointed out that under the right conditions it is possible for consumers to greatly reduce their chances of being infected with malware or duped by online scams, as long as proper precautions are taken.

Mr Thomson advises users to always log out of email and online banking correctly when using a friend's PC or when surfing on a public machine, because these are the situations in which a lack of care can lead to data loss and give third parties access to your accounts.

Consumers put their data and login details at risk if they take laptops out and about and do not backup important details and keep private, valuable information separate and secure at home, according to Mr Thomson.

The two safest nations for net surfing and safe shopping online are Japan and Taiwan, according to AVG's survey, while on a continental basis, it is users in North American countries who are deemed to be at the greatest risk of attack.

It is worth noting that developed nations are more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals because of the greater proportion of users who carry out online shopping.