87 pc internet users becoming victim of cybercrime: Study
Published: 05:30 PM, 13 July 2019
Cybercrime is increasing day by day around the world. 87 percent internet users agreed that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is increasing, according to a report published by European Union of its latest consumer survey on internet security.
ESET, an IT security company, recorded a similar concern in a North American survey and asked the same question in roughly the same timeframe.
87 percent of respondents in the US agreed that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime was increasing where Canadian respondents were slightly less pessimistic at 83 percent.
The victims of cybercrime are mostly those whose business models rely on public trust in the internet. This should also concern politicians and the government, including law enforcement agencies.
The survey findings strongly suggest that government efforts at cybercrime deterrence have not given the public much cause for hope.
The number of people who use internet by limiting their exploration - has to be bad news for companies trying to start businesses online, where the the percentage of people limiting their online shopping and banking is a lot lower- which concern the retail and financial services sectors.
When ESET asked Americans about a variety of concerns related to online banking and shopping, 70 percent of those surveyed indicated that they are worried about the misuse of personal data supplied online.
The EU study found a lower level of concern (43%), but this varied widely within the EU – from 32% in Austria and Poland to 50% in Croatia and 62% in Cyprus.
To help with privacy concerns related to use of the internet, the EU and ESET surveys asked their respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement- ‘I am concerned that my online personal information is not kept secure by websites’.
Sadly, one third of US respondents said that they totally agreed, compared to one in four Canadians. The percentage that agreed totally was 80% in the US, 72% in Canada, and 77% in the EU. That EU result is up from 70% in 2013, which is not a good sign.
The survey also asked people if they agreed with another statement- ‘I am concerned that my online personal information is not kept secure by public authorities’. In reply, more than three quarters of US respondents (76%) either tended to agree or totally agreed vs two thirds in Canada. In the EU, 68% of internet users share this concern, up from 64% in 2013.
These numbers should be worrying given to the extent to which companies and government agencies have come to rely on the internet as a tool for communication and interaction with the public.
If the public doubts the ability of organizations to protect personal data from exposure- those organizations may find it harder than expected to realize net gains from further digital transformation- such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligent, big data, self-driving vehicles, and 5G.
Cybersecurity is concerned with the protection of digital technologies against criminals and other entities who seek to abuse those technologies for their own selfish needs.
Public support and awareness is needed to reduce the cybercrimes to preserve the benefits of digital technologies.
That is why, it is so important to know what the public thinks about cybercrime and cybersecurity, the safety of online activities, and the privacy of personal data shared with companies or government agencies.
The EU and ESET surveys strongly suggest that unless cybersecurity initiatives and cybercrime deterrence have to be made a top priority of government agencies and corporations for any country.