The Scottish government has launched a strategy to help businesses and individuals combat cyber crime.
The move follows a survey of 1,000 adults in Scotland which found one in 10 had experienced unauthorised use of their personal data online.
It is estimated 80% of cyber crime could be prevented by updating software and having stronger passwords.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Cyber attacks can happen to any individual or organisation.”
About 7% of Scots are thought to have experienced abusive or threatening behaviour online.
At the same time, just one in 12 claim to regularly install software updates, fewer than one in 10 password-protect their mobile devices and only 13% check that a website is secure before divulging information.
Cost of crime
The strategy, launched by John Swinney at the National Economic Forum in Edinburgh, states: “We are now experiencing cyber crime at an unprecedented rate.
“Every day we hear of new online vulnerabilities, attacks and incidents affecting parts of Scottish society – from individuals through to large organisations.
“Cyber crime is also under-reported. As a result, the scale of the problem is difficult to grasp and at the moment we do not have a full understanding of the complex risks that cyber crime presents to Scotland.”
The document highlights the need for more research on cyber resilience, including the cost of cyber crime.
Mr Swinney said: “Individuals and businesses increasingly rely on online connectivity and thanks to widening trade partners, more innovation and greater competition, this is helping to grow our economy.
“It has been estimated that as much as 80% of cyber crime can be prevented by getting the cyber basics right such as updating software, good passwords and regular system back-ups.
“We have a responsibility to ensure people in Scotland are educated and empowered to exploit digital opportunities for their personal and professional development whilst having the skills to protect themselves from harm and exploitation online.
“This strategy is the first step in achieving that goal.”