Home » News » Fatalism strong when it comes to our cybersecurity

Fatalism strong when it comes to our cybersecurity

Fatalism strong when it comes to our cybersecurity

Thursday, 25 April, 2019

When it comes to our cybersecurity, it seems we are pessimistic about our ability to protect ourselves.

According to a recent survey from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) 70% of us believe we will be a victim of cybercrime over the next two years, even though 80% of us say cybersecurity is a high priority. While a significant 37% believed that losing money or their personal details was sadly unavoidable.

The survey was conducted between November 2018 and January this year and involved 1,350 telephone interviews with the general public. The survey was weighted to represent the UK population.

It has been published ahead of the NCSC’s two-day CYBERUK 2019 conference due to be held on 24 and 25 April at the Glasgow Scottish Exhibition Centre.

The findings showed that we are all well aware of cybersecurity and the risks involved but revealed a lack of understanding how to go about mitigating the risks. While 80% put cybersecurity as a high priority only 15% said they knew how to effectively protect themselves. Interestingly, 46% surveyed believed that most cybersecurity information was confusing.

The use and type of cyber protection practices varied widely and tended to be more prominent among those under the age of 54-years-old. The survey found an impressive 70% used a password, phrase or PIN to unlock their smartphones and tablets. In contrast only 55% of us used similar protection habits for their primary email account.

Likewise, only 46% patched their systems as soon as possible and just 29% regularly backed-up important data. While only a quarter of us used two-factor authentication on their email account.

The survey did not go into great detail with our password usage. But the NCSC is particularly concerned that we continue to use and reuse simple, easy to guess passwords.

In conjunction with the good knight of the internet Troy Hunt, the NCSC has published a list of 100,000 of the most common passwords found on Mr Hunt’s database on HaveIBeenPwned. The most common remains 123456 which according to Troy Hunt had been used and stolen 23 million times.

NCSC also warned that cybercriminals have their own lists of common passwords. So that blocking these will thwart many nefarious criminals. Of course, both NCSC and Troy Hunt recommend using multi-factor authentication and password managers as good password practice.

But it seems good, clear information on cybersecurity is what is most urgently needed – along with a little less fatalism.

Tim Bamford author picture


Tim is a veteran freelance journalist writing extensively on internet news and cybersecurity.

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so far

It’s been a year few of us will forget in a hurry, and we're only halfway through.

The biggest malware threats of 2020…so farThe biggest malware threats of 2020…so far Read more

Instagram could become the main news source for young people.

Reuters finds changes in the way younger users consume the news.

Read more

BT launches second line service

BT launches second broadband home line service for the new crop of home workers.

Read more

Best broadband areas for online gaming in the UK.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

How to check if your broadband is down

It might seem obvious that an outage has occurred, but there are easy ways to check if your broadband is down, or whether the problem is more localised

How to check if your broadband is downHow to check if your broadband is down Read more

A guide to Big Tech alternatives.

It seems like we’re reliant on a small group of companies, are there alternatives?

Read more

Quick tips for boosting home broadband speed

Boosting speed can transform activities like streaming, gaming and accessing cloud storage

Read more

What’s the difference between hardware, firmware and software?

Read more