Wednesday, February 21, 2024
 
 

Europeans remain concerned about cybercrime despite growing awareness

EPA-EFE//RONALD WITTEK
A digital screen displays a live cyber hack attack during a press conference at the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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Europeans are better informed about cybercrimes but are becoming increasingly concerned about their own security, according to the latest survey by the European Commission, which also noted that the number of Europeans who feel capable of protecting themselves from computer-generated crimes has sufficiently trended upward to 71% of the population.
The public’s main concerns are generally related to the possibility that their personal data could be hacked or that they may be locked out of their, and identity theft.
More than a third of the respondents received fraudulent emails or phone calls that asked for personal details, with 8% of those having fallen victim to ransomware and another 11% had their social media or email accounts hacked.
At the same time, a significant proportion (83%) of the respondents have never reported a cybercrime or any other illegal online behaviour. Those that have been victimized, 84% had their bank cards illegally accessed or were subject online banking fraud. 74% were the victims of online fraud and identity theft.
Only a small number of respondents appeared to be informed about where they can report potential cybercrimes. Just one in five individual said they are aware of official channels to report such crimes. This fact has highlighted the EU’s perceived weakness when it comes to keeping its residents fully briefed on how to protect themselves from illicit online activities
Margaritis Schinas, the Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, recently said that it is important to step up the effort to combat online criminal activities in Europe, and added that ‘‘Fighting cybercrime is a key part of our work towards building an EU that protects its citizens. Cybercriminals know no borders. This is why we will continue to support cooperation and exchange of information between law enforcement authorities and make sure they have the right tools and skills to address the challenges of the digital age.”

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