Hertfordshire is one of the worst affected areas for cybercrime, a new study has revealed.

Research by internet security company ESET shows Hertfordshire had the second highest rate of cybercrime in the UK in 2020, with 749 attacks recorded across a population of 1,189,500.

This meant the county recorded a rate of 63 cybercrimes per 100,000 population, with only London – which saw a rate of 66.3 crimes per 100,000 - ranking higher.

The capital was found to have the highest rate in the UK for cybercrime, with the study revealing there were 5,934 cybercrime attacks amongst its 8,952,300 population in 2020.

The study looked into cybercrime data from the City of London Police’s Fraud and Cybercrime Dashboard to discover the most common types of cybercrime in the UK, the areas with the highest rate of cybercrime and the percentage increase in cybercrime in each region.

It found that overall the UK has seen a 19.1 per cent increase in cybercrime over the last year.

The National Crime Agency says cyber criminals seek to exploit human or security vulnerabilities in order to steal passwords, data or money directly.

Speaking about the study, Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET, said: “What is initially apparent is that there has been a nationwide increase and cybercriminals will pursue the data rather than target people specifically.

“However, knowledge is the key to reducing cybercrime and where this data has highlighted inevitable increases, it may suggest those areas are lacking in cybersecurity awareness and a focus on education is now necessary.”