Half of Internet Users Fall Victim to Cyber Attacks

Half of computer users confirm that they have fallen victim to some form of cybercrime, according to a new NordLocker cybersecurity report.

The extent of cybercrime has no limits, and while cyber awareness campaigns have spiked in recent months, attacks targeting Internet users have increased in number and sophistication. Malicious actors use more than just coronavirus-related anxieties to fill their pockets, channeling every trick in the book to find their next victim.

In April, the company polled 1,400 Internet users in the US and UK, revealing that over 50% of respondents had fallen victim to malicious cyber activity.

Brits hold steady at 55%, while 67% of Americans admit to having encountered malicious cyber activities while using their Internet-enabled devices. Computer viruses, phishing scams and stolen passwords were among the most common cyber-related incidents mentioned by users:

• 33% of UK respondents compared to 46% of US respondents experienced malware attacks
• 20% of UK respondents compared to 32% of US respondents fell victim to an email scan
• 14% of UK respondents compared to 23% of US respondents claim to have had their passwords stolen

Additionally, some 8% of users in both the UK and US had been hit by a ransomware attack, and asked to pay a ransom to regain access to their documents and files.

The study also revealed some interesting points regarding how the general populace feels about their data becoming exposed online. Most users compare data exposure to losing a wallet, personal documents, or someone breaking into your home.

“Over 75% of users rated losing a device or finding out that someone had access to their personal computer as extremely concerning,” researchers said. “76% of UK users would be extremely concerned about a stolen email password, rating it as worse than losing a job. In the US, it would worry 72% of respondents — they rated it as worse than personal illness but not as bad as losing a job.”

What do users value the most? Users in both countries value their medical records, tax records, personal photos and work-related files, personal info that is mainly stored on their computers. However, these devices are often shared with someone else such as a spouse (around 40%), children (20%), parents (6%), and coworkers (3%).

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