Consumers need to be even more cautious with their digital activity amid “heightened international tensions”, warned James Cleverly, government minister for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
Speaking at a panel organised by Get Safe Online, Cleverly urged people to “remain vigiliant” and to “stand up for the principles of a free, open, peaceful and secure cyber space.”
This was especially important following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and increased cyber-attacks, including the country’s targeting of Ukraine’s banking system.
He said: “At this time of heightened international tension, access to the internet and online safety has never been more important. As part of Russia’s unprovoked, premeditated attack on Ukraine, we have already seen cyber-attacks that bear the hallmarks of previous Russian activity. “
Last week, Get Safe Online hosted its Global24 event, an online security conference in co-operation with FCDO .
Ahead of the event, it questioned 5,200 people from across the 22 Commonwealth nations about cybersecurity issues.
The findings revealed 78 per cent of respondents mistakenly believed bank accounts were the most targeted log-in details for professional hackers, despite the breadth of personal information email accounts provide.
Its survey revealed over nine in ten adults (93 per cent) across the 22 Commonwealth nations are unaware email passwords and access to personal and business email accounts are the top target for criminals and other malicious actors, according to a survey organised by Get Safe Online.
Email accounts are a vast gateway to personal information – with online platforms and services using email addresses to greenlight access to private documents, credentials, and other important information, from bank account details to memberships.
Although many respondents failed to identify the key access point for cyber criminals, most were aware of the threat.
When asked if they worried about cybercrime and scams, the vast majority of respondents (88 per cent) said they were concerned, with only 3.5 per cent of respondents suggesting they did not think about the issue.
The findings and results of the conference will be collaborated into a Get Safe Online Global24 white paper, which will be launched later this month.