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UK consumers top online security awareness survey

24 June 2011 - 12:26 by Mike Price

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An extensive study which covered thousands of people from across Europe has found that consumers in the UK are most aware about the threats they face when they head online.

The survey, conducted by G Data, took responses from over 11,000 people across 11 nations in Europe and its findings suggest that people on our shores are more concerned about safe shopping online and ensuring protection for all their web-based activities than anywhere else.

Ninety-four per cent of the Brits questioned said that they had installed internet security software on their home computers and laptops. Those questioned from Russia were only owners of similar software in 83 per cent of cases.

Security expert, Dr Grainne Kirwan, said that there are a number of factors which typically encourage large groups of people to ensure that they can carry out safe shopping online and in the UK there is a greater concentration of these motivations, which, in part, explains the figures.

While 94 per cent of UK consumers said that they have basic protection, around 65 per cent said that they have installed a full internet security suite, which goes beyond standard antivirus software and includes things like firewalls, spam filtering and link scanning when online.

G Data's James Coombes, said that UK consumers were partially encouraged to install security software because they are paranoid about the potential for identity theft and fraud to affect them in daily life.

Mr Coombes said that this paranoia was definitely a positive influence in relation to privacy protection in an online environment, thus allowing the UK to set an example for the rest of Europe.

Experts urge users not only to secure their computers but to also consider the reasons behind this practice so that there is less chance of being targeted by cybercriminals.