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Jan 28 2017

Kaspersky: 5% of Internet Users Fall Victim to Cyber-Crimes

"Crime doesn't pay," says an old adage. Still every year statistics about so-called cyber-crimes – i.e. the online equivalent of felonies that were previously only committed in the real world – provide us with evidence to the contrary. The latest "Consumer Security Risks Survey" from Kaspersky Lab is no exception to the rule.

The 2016 version of this report is based on the results of an online poll Kaspersky conducted in August last year with the help of B2B International, a market research firm based out of Manchester, UK. Unlike many other so-called international surveys, this one has a double advantage – with a number of more than 12,500 participants, it's large enough to be considered representative, and given that the input came from 21 countries as diverse as the U.S., France, Germany, Russia, China, India, Vietnam, the UAE and Brazil, it's also a truly global study.

Just as its name implies, the study attempts to give readers a "bird's-eye view" of average Internet users' behavior patterns as well as of their main security concerns and the threats they are facing every day. With regard to behavior patterns, one of the key findings was that online banking is about to become the new normal – more than four fifths (81%) of the participants indicated that they made payments and carried out other financial transactions online. Consequently, vast majorities are worried about what the researchers called "online hacking" (70%) and "online banking fraud" (64%). Against this backdrop, it is quite stunning to find that just over one fifth (21%) figured they might be targeted in such attacks.

This latter result is all the more surprising since 5% (625) of the participants admitted they had indeed lost money to cyber-crooks. On average, miscreants would pocket $476 (€445) per victim; however, that sum varies to a large degree, as several respondents stated they were robbed of more than $5,000 (roughly €4,700). Even so, none of these negative experiences seems to curb consumer enthusiasm for Internet banking and other forms of online payment processes – most likely because they, like 45% of the Kaspersky interviewees, believe that banks and financial services will cover their financial loss. Unfortunately, this belief is somewhat unrealistic: the study also reveals that in 52% of all cases, the financial institutions did not offer adequate (i.e. full) compensation. So perhaps there's a reason why some people stick to paying with cash and other more personal/conventional interactions with their bank.

The full Consumer Security Risks Survey 2016 (PDF) is available for download from the Kaspersky website.


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