People fear e-crime more than mugging or car theft, according to a new report from Get Safe Online (GSO). According to the organization, 24 percent of people are deterred from Internet banking because of e-crime fears, and 18 percent from online shopping.
However, people appear to be doing something about it, with the survey claiming that 72 percent of people need more Internet security information, down from 78 percent last year. The survey was jumped on by one company. Simon Moores, head of research consultancy Zentelligence, warned: “GSO is a very small Band-Aid on a very large gunshot wound. The [e-crime] genie is out of the bottle and out of control.” He has previously suggested that e-crime is costing U.K. business 40 million pounds (US$74 million) a year.
GSO’s managing director, Tony Neate, is a recently retired officer from the Serious Organised Crime Association (SOCA), and has produced the report at a time when business fears the government isn’t taking high-tech crime seriously enough. GSO depends upon sponsors to spread its e-crime awareness message and the government, via SOCA, puts in 150,000 pounds a year. Other sponsors such as Microsoft, eBay and HSBC have put in 155,000 pounds each.
Since SOCA absorbed the National High-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU), the NHTCU website has been shut down and there is now no confidential contact point for business to report e-crime. Sharon Lemon, deputy director of SOCA, said the website had been closed because the branding was wrong, and a confidential e-crime reporting contact point would appear from SOCA soon.
-Chris Mellor, Techworld.com (London)
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