A large number of Irish people have been the victim of an online scam 5 months ago

A large number of Irish people have been the victim of an online scam

Plenty of people have experienced a scam.

Tuesday is Safer Internet Day, which is an EU-wide initiative to promote a safer internet for all users, especially young people.

From cyberbullying to social networking, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.

So how do we rank in Ireland in terms of our internet safety habits?

Well, according to a new survey conducted by Google/YouGov, three quarters of Irish users have experienced some sort of online scam or security breach.

The survey found that:

  • 54% of people surveyed have been the target of ‘phishing’ scams
  • 23% have been victims of viruses or malware which has stolen personal data
  • 17% have had their social media accounts hacked
  • 15% have parted with money for goods or services that did not exist
  • 50% use two-step verification for ‘some but not all’ of their online accounts
  • 33% of people have never used an online tool such as Google Security Checkup to review their online security settings

But, in terms of taking the necessary steps to avoid a security breach, 39% of Irish people stated they follow the recommended practice of using different passwords for each of their online accounts, with only 4.5% admitting the more risky approach of using one password for all services.

Commenting on the findings, Ryan Meade, Public Policy Manager at Google said, “It’s great to see that so many Irish people are aware of good security techniques such as multiple passwords and two-factor authentication, and more importantly the YouGov survey shows that we actually follow these good practices too.

"However all this good work can easily be undone by not staying on top of security settings and regularly monitoring permissions and account activity."

Tips on how to stay safe online this Internet Safety Day:

  • Ensure your browser is up to date
  • Check the URL to ensure it's a legitimate website
  • Vary your passwords