SOMERSET has the most victims of cybercrime per 1,000 people throughout the whole of the UK, according to a new study.

The research by Clario, a London-based cybersecurity company, analysed the incidences of cybercrime - which includes data breaches, hacking, phishing and being coerced into using malicious software - across Britain.

Somerset has 13.6 victims per 1,000 people, which means it ranks in first place for online deception, with 0.14 per cent of residents falling foul of criminals in this way.

The study suggests that this could be due to Somerset's ageing population, having significantly higher levels of those aged between 45 and 65, and those aged over 65, who may be less computer literate and more likely to be susceptible to breaches.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also been a factor, with an increase in people working from home and using unprotected servers making them more vulnerable to phishing sites seeking personal information.

The research looked at Somerset's population (562,225) and number of cybercrime victims (7,667) to give the figure of victims per 1,000 people in the county (13.6369).

The counties ranked second and third in this study were Northumbria (13.4102 victims per 1,000 people) and Dorset (9.1491).

Leicestershire (6.6345), Bedfordshire (6.4359), Nottinghamshire (6.3956), Cambridgeshire (6.3577), Wiltshire (6.3417), Essex (6.1920) and Kent (5.8980) make up the rest of the top 10.

Somerset may be the most affected county per 1,000 people, but it is the South East region which is most targeted by cybercriminals.

Victims in that region have had £1,300,000 stolen from them by those criminals.

People are warned to take precautions for protecting themselves online, such as watching what personal details they put out on the internet.

And if they do receive any suspicious activity, they are urged to contact