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One in nine Brits have been victims of fraud in the past year

Google announced that it was shutting down Google+ after a potential data breach in 2018. Photo: Richard B. Levine/SIPA USA/PA Images

Millions of Brits have quit social media, changed email provider or moved banks due to fraud in the past 12 months, new research shows.

A survey of over 2,000 UK adults by tech company Studio Graphene found 12% of UK adults have been the victim of fraud over the past year – equating to 6.21 million people.

And further 16% have had an online banking, social media, shopping or email account hacked.

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As a result, around one in six (16%) Brits said they have stopped using social media due to data security concerns.

More than one in eight (12%) have changed service providers – including streaming services, utilities and banks – and 6% have moved to a new email provider for the same reason.

These trends were particularly common among those aged between 18 and 34 – 17% had been the victim of fraud, a quarter had online accounts hacked, 20% had quit social media, 23% had switched service provider, and 11% had changed email provider.

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The research also demonstrated how wary consumers have become of the technology they use and the data they share.

Almost three quarters (73%) of UK adults said they are now conscious of the websites and apps they provide personal data to, while 70% are cautious of the particular devices or networks they use to share sensitive information.

But despite being the most exposed to issues of hacking, fraud and data loss, 18-24 year-old Brits exercise the least caution, the survey found.

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Only 58% said they are conscious of the websites and apps they share personal data on, and just 56% think about the networks or devices they are using when doing so.

Elsewhere, 24% of respondents said they avoid using ATMs or chip-and-pin machines in shops due to fears of credit and debit card fraud.