South Yorkshire Police has issued advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of cyber attacks, after a new report ranked Sheffield as the second worst place in the county for computer viruses.
With the nation’s biggest population, London had the highest number of infections last year with 1,928,098 reported.
But, calculated as a percentage of each city’s population Manchester suffered the most, with Sheffield second.
Anti-hacking specialists analysed more than three million infections which hit British computers last year.
Patrick Morganelli, Senior Vice President of Technology at EnigmaSoftware.com, makers of SpyHunt anti-spyware products, said: “I wish there was an easy way to determine what makes people in one area more susceptible to malware infections. But there are so many different ways that infections can end up on computers that it’s tough to make any generalisations.
“We’re not saying that people in Manchester, Sheffield, and London are visiting more adult web sites than people in other cities, but that still is one of the biggest sources of the malware.”
Detective Chief Inspector Chris Singleton, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The high levels of infections referred to in this report are more indicative of poor practise in respect of computer security and antivirus provision.
“This has no correlation to the levels of criminality experienced in Sheffield or indeed, across Yorkshire and the Humber, when compared to physical crimes experienced in other cities or regions.
“It is recognised nationally that around 80 per cent of cyber crime is preventable and there are a number of practises you can adopt that will enhance your computer’s security and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of a cyber attack.
“Keep your software ‘patched’ and up to date – turn on automatic updating, always use your computer’s inbuilt Firewall, use reputable anti-virus software and use secure passwords.”