Cyber Streetwise is urging people and businesses across Lincolnshire to always download the latest software and app updates after Government statistics reveal the majority of them are failing to do so.
According to ONS figures, an estimated two million cybercrime offences were committed last year.
However, Ipsos MORI stats show around 75 per cent of people in the East Midlands don’t always download the latest software updates for their mobile phone or for their computer .
The most common reason given for not downloading the latest software updates for their computer (29 per cent) was that it was “too time consuming”.
Nineteen per cent of respondents across the UK felt it was Ttoo time consuming” to download the latest software updates for mobile.
Advice from GCHQ’s cyber security arm, CESG recommends that software updates are the most effective action Britons can take to protect themselves online.
Software and app updates contain vital security upgrades which protect devices from viruses and hackers. They are, according to CESG, the most important action people and businesses can take to protect themselves from cybercrime.
GCHQ’s cyber security arm, CESG, strongly recommends that individuals and businesses regularly update software on all devices that use the internet to allow the latest security updates to be installed. This provides greater protection from viruses and other cyber threats.
It only takes a few minutes to download software and app updates versus the time it can take to recover from a cyber hack. This is why Cyber Streetwise is launching #quickupdates.
The Ipsos MORI research also found that the majority of people thought they did not know a lot about the security benefits of downloading the latest software updates for computers (77 per cent) or mobile phones (74 per cent).
Det Insp Stephen Knubley, head of Lincolnshire’s Cybercrime Unit, said: “We are working hard to prevent Cybercrime in Lincolnshire. Downloading the latest software updates from verified vendors is one of the most significant things residents and business can do to protect themselves against viruses and hackers. Many people believe software updates are purely cosmetic but that is not the case. The updates address security vulnerabilities, plugging gaps which hackers will attempt to exploit.
I urge anybody who goes online to complete this simple process. The consequences of not taking this step could be potentially devastating to the reputation of companies and / or individuals and their financial future”.
Lynn Farrar, chairman of Neighbourhood Watch said: “We wholeheartedly support the #quickupdates campaign and we are urging everyone to download software updates on mobiles, laptops and computers as soon as they appear in order to protect against cybercrime. This is such a quick and easy way to protect yourself, your family and your community against hackers it makes sense to get into the habit of doing it as soon as you possibly can.”
The Government is taking action to increase public awareness of the risk and will invest £1.9 billion to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security. The National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) will support the aims of the 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy over the next five years and reflects the importance the Government places on robust cyber security for the UK. CESG, the cyber security arm of GCHQ, will become part of the National Cyber Security Centre later in 2016. In addition to providing guidance, the NCSC will actively protect the UK from a range of cyber threats and will coordinate responses to cyber security incidents.
The Cyber Streetwise campaign, funded by the NCSP, was launched in 2014 with the objective of providing the public and small businesses with the knowledge to take control of their cyber security and help protect themselves from cyber criminals.
To find out more, including how to set your device to that it automatically downloads the latest software updates visit https://www.cyberstreetwise.com/software-updates