We feel so secure sharing our personal and sometimes sensitive information with our online accounts, banking or otherwise, until these are compromised. Often, we underrate the importance of cyber security until a security breach and our valued information is stolen or inaccessible.

These cyber attacks affect big and small companies, and individuals, and they can be costly. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you need to invest in good cyber security. Here are some statistics from bestvpns.co.uk, that shows the magnitude of this scourge:

1. Between 2003 and 2017, millions of accounts with big companies like Yahoo, Ebay, Sony’s Playstation Network, Equifax and even the US Office of Personnel Management, were hacked.

2. Some of the most vulnerable industries in the USA are businesses with 312 breaches, medical and healthcare institutions with 276 breaches, government or military with 63 breaches and educational institutions with 58 breaches.

3. Viruses/spyware/malware, account for 68% of all cyber security breaches.

4. 169M personal records were exposed from 781 breaches in America in 2015.

5. 2,356,000 bank account frauds were reported in the UK in 2016.

6. The average time to resolve a ransomware attack is 23 days.

7. Roughly 60% of small and midsized businesses go out of business within 6 months of a cyber attack.

8. The most prevalent attacks against small and midsized businesses are web-based and phishing.

9. The average annual security breach costs £36,500 for a large UK firm.

10. $16B were stolen from 15.4M USA consumers in 2016.

11. Malware attacks are the costliest cyber attacks, an average of $2.4M for companies.

This data can be very frightening to many, but there are steps you can take to protect your home and office systems from breaches in security. These include:

• Guard all sensitive data with unique usernames and strong passwords.

• Avoid opening email attachments/files and clicking links from unknown/untrusted sources.

• Regularly backup important information offline.

• Use antivirus protection or virus scanner.

• Keep all software up-to-date.

We urge you to take your cyber security very seriously, before you fall victim to a cyber attack.