According to figures released by security firm RSA, the UK was the world’s biggest victim of phishing scams. In a 25% increase over 2011, Britons lost an estimated £405million in 2012.
RSA’s Anti-Fraud Command Centre report showed nearly 250,000 phishing attacks in the UK last year. Other data, reported by the Guardian, showed an annual loss of £27 billion to cybercrime. The bulk of this is lost by companies, with individual losses accounting for a small proportion of the total.
The figures can seem daunting, but serve to highlight the seriousness of identity theft crime in the UK. The top of the 2011 phishing list, the United States, has cracked down on cybercrime. The result was a 19% decrease in the number of attacks in the 2012 report.
While these cybercrimes are carried out in a variety of ways, the staggering losses highlight the need for increased data security. Along with more vigilant approaches to online safety, consumers and businesses alike need to be more conscientious of how they handle physical data.
For many individuals, a consumer crosscut shredder is often sufficient. However, for businesses, who need to protect themselves and their customers, it is necessary to use an accredited shredder such as Assured Shredding. Using an on-site or off-site shredding service can ensure that your data is properly destroyed, protecting your business.
Businesses should have data destruction policies that protect them and their customers. This is more than just deleting data from hard drives. To be fully protected, it is necessary to physically destroy any media with sensitive information.