Ruth Mitchell

Internet fears could threaten businesses

Growing fears over e-crime are preventing an increasing number of customers from using business services online, new research suggests.

According to a study by Get Safe Online, online crime is now more feared than mugging or burglary, and 21% of people think that e-crime is the type of crime they are most likely to encounter in their everyday lives.

The research suggests that the public is being deterred from using the internet for their day-to-day activities. Just under a quarter of people will not use internet banking, and nearly a fifth are too concerned to shop online.

Businesses are being urged to beef up internet security in order to boost customer confidence. The Cabinet Office has responded to the findings by warning businesses about the potential losses they face if the problem is not addressed. It is also encouraging the business community to get involved in Get Safe Online Week, which will promote the benefits of online security.

Pat McFadden, Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office, said: “Fear of online crime is an important issue that must not be ignored. Provided people take sensible precautions to protect themselves and their families, there is no reason why they cannot enjoy the great social and economic benefits the internet provides.

“Campaigns like Get Safe Online are here to provide the public with the support and help necessary to ensure they can use the internet safely and confidently, in a society and economy that increasingly relies on the internet to live and work. The Get Safe Online awareness week is a ‘call to action’ for the general public, businesses and organisations to come together and help combat this issue.”

Get Safe Online Week will run a series of events, roadshows and training sessions nationwide, aimed at providing the general public with the information they need to protect themselves when using the internet.

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