Scots warned of growing cyber threat

One in ten Scots have experienced unauthorised use of personal data. Picture: Ian Rutherford
One in ten Scots have experienced unauthorised use of personal data. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Scots are being urged to take action to protect themselves online amid an “unprecedented” rate of cyber crime which has seen 10% of Scots experiencing unauthorised data hacks.

The Scottish Government has launched a strategy aimed at helping businesses, organisations and individuals stay safe while using the web.

It highlights the importance of simple steps such as creating strong passwords, keeping software up to date, turning on firewall settings, installing anti-virus software and using mobile screen locks and passwords.

A recent survey of 1,000 adults in Scotland found one in ten had experienced unauthorised use of their personal data while 7 per cent had experienced abusive or threatening behaviour online.

At the same time, just one in 12 claims to regularly install software updates, fewer than one in ten password-protect their mobile devices and only 13 per cent check that a website is secure before divulging information.

The strategy, launched by Deputy First Minister John Swinney at the National Economic Forum in Edinburgh, states: “Every day we hear of new online vulnerabilities, attacks and incidents affecting parts of Scottish society.

“Cyber crime is also under-reported. As a result, the scale of the problem is difficult to grasp.”