Reacting to the publication, today, of figures suggesting 6.7 million adults in the UK have never used the internet, KPMG’s Stephen Bonner warns that inactivity online does not guarantee protection from cyber crime and internet-based fraud.
He says: “Perhaps the small, but significant, proportion of the UK’s population yet to engage in cyberspace believes that by refusing to adopt an online persona, they don’t need to worry about cyber security. The truth is that despite not using the internet directly, their retailers, financial service providers, transport and government all now rely on connected services and information about them that could be hacked. A figure just short of 7 million is ripe pickings for cyber crime and these individuals need to be informed consumers and citizens, asking the right questions about how their information is being used by others – even if they are yet to join the digital revolution.
“Increasingly they will be forced to interact in an environment they don’t fully understand or feel comfortable with, leading to greater risks around cyber fraud or identity theft. Historically, far more people under the age of 34 have used the internet than those aged 65 or above – but today the fastest growing users of social media are the over 65s. This group recognises the need to master cyber security, but with limited knowledge the onus must be on suppliers of online services to educate and ensure that the online world is safe for all their customers to engage in.”
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.