Centre for Counter Fraud Studies

Victims of Computer Misuse

The University of Portsmouth has been commissioned by the Home Office and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services to research victims of computer misuse. This includes offences relating to the hacking of an e-mail account, social networking account or device such as a laptop or smartphone; and offences related to computer viruses, which includes extortion attempts often known as ransomware.

We are investigating both individual victims and SME victims. As part of this research we will be conducting an online survey and conducting face-to-face interviews.


The University is conducting an online survey of victims of computer misuse (hacking and computer viruses). If you would like to participate click on the following link:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7P69FDK 

Volunteer to be interviewed

We will be conducting interviews with a small number of victims. If you are interested in volunteering please e-mail mark.button@port.ac.uk marking your e-mail ‘victims of computer misuse research’. For those that are selected we will be able to give you a £25 voucher of your choice.

Source of Help and Support for Victims of Computer Misuse

You can report cybercrime at

Advice on computer security

There are a variety of websites that provide good advice on computer security and related issues. These include:

There is also a site where you can check if your account password has been compromised

Other victim support

If you have been a victim and the impact means you want more support you can contact

If you have financial difficulties as a result of the crime a good source of help is

If you feel your mental wellbeing has been damaged and you need someone to talk to you can contact