Man at computer
Cyber attacks are on the rise in the UK, costing the people billions of pounds. Getty

More than 12 million Britons experienced cybercrime in the past year, figures published on 23 November have revealed. The UK public lost more than one working day dealing with fallout from the rising number of cybercrime attacks, costing nearly £134 per person and £1.6bn ($2.4bn) across the country.

The increasing number of cybercrime incidents were recorded by the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report and revealed that more than one in five (22%) of British people faced a cybercrime attack in the past year. One in seven of those who experienced such an attack had their financial details stolen after shopping online.

"We no longer need convincing of the risks," said Nick Shaw, EMEA general manager of the Norton business unit. "Our findings demonstrate that people's trust in online activity has been rattled, yet there is still not widespread adoption of simple protection measures that people should take to safeguard their information online."

The research revealed that 42% of British people did not take the time to change their passwords after a security breach, despite more than 1 in 10 of cybercrime victims saying that their identity was stolen during the attack.

Britons are becoming increasingly concerned about the threat of cybercrime, with many indicating they felt more at risk of a cyberattack than they had before. More than four out of five people said they were concerned about falling victim to an attack, while only one in 10 believed they had control over their online security.

"Now more than ever, online crime is always personal," said Tony Neate, CEO, Get Safe Online. "What's concerning is that fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their attacks, using people's individual data to target victims while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity."

Norton urged people to take action to protect themselves from possible online crimes by not using the same passwords for all accounts and reporting any suspicious activity. The company noted that one in three British people did not have a password on their smartphones and that many were sharing passwords for online accounts with friends and family.