More than half of people in Leeds have been targeted by online criminals.
In a survey of 500 city residents, 53 per cent were found to have suffered cyber attacks by hackers and fraudsters.
Nearly one in five had lost money to criminals. But about the same proportion were too embarrassed to tell anyone.
Successful attacks cost victims an average of £243.
Mother-of-two Karen McDowell, 43, from Pudsey, and her family lost treasured family photos and were hit with a £300 engineer’s repair bill after a virus wiped their computer’s hard drive.
“I felt as though my personal space was invaded and consider myself a victim of crime,” she said.
The survey, by not-for-profit organisation getsafeonline.org, found the most common threats were viruses, followed by e-mail hackers, fraudulent sales, social media hackers and corrupt apps.
Chief executive Tony Neate said: “As the survey has shown, online crime can be a threat to each and every one of us.
“But, don’t forget, the internet is a brilliant place that allows us to do great things, so people shouldn’t feel like they can’t enjoy all of its benefits.
“Staying safe can be really simple – it only takes a few small changes in behaviour.”
The organisation visited Leeds Railway Station and spoke to shoppers on Briggate today to help people beef up their cyber security.