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Cybercrime survey – Awareness is rising in Europe

Life in our cyber society is characterized by digitalization and the Internet. Financial transactions are also handled via the Internet, as are purchases and partner searches. The ubiquitous smartphone is the new center of human life. Unfortunately, today’s cyber society has also brought a new form of crime – cybercrime. Studies show that people are now more likely to become victims of cybercriminals than traditional criminals. Cybercrime and cybercriminals are invisible and operate over the Internet.

A few days ago, the EU Commission releases its latest survey on Europeans’ attitudes towards cybercrime. The results show that awareness of cybercrime is rising, with 52% of respondents stating they are fairly well or very well informed about cybercrime, up from 46% in 2017. Europeans are however growing less confident about their capacity to stay safe online: 59% of Internet users think they can protect themselves sufficiently against cybercrime, down from 71% in 2017.

Respondents worry about misuse of their personal data, fraud, being locked out of their computer and forced to pay ransom to access their own data, as well as about identity theft. More than a third have received fraudulent emails or phone calls asking for personal details in the last three years; 8% fell victim to ransomware, and 11% had their social media account or email account hacked. This has an impact on their willingness to use online services: for example, 10% say their concerns make them less likely to make purchases online.

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