NATIONAL

Cybercrime hit half of India’s Net users: study

Nearly half of India’s Internet-using population has been affected by cybercrime during the past year, with each person losing over Rs. 16,500 on an average as a result, says a report released by security services firm Norton.

“In the past year, 48 per cent of India’s online population, or approximately 113 million Indians, were affected by online crime … Despite the threat of cybercrime in India, it hasn’t led to widespread adoption of simple protection measures to safeguard information online, with almost one in four Indians sharing passwords as a common practice,” Ritesh Chopra, country manager (India) for Norton by Symantec, said.

As per the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, an Indian lost an average of Rs. 16,558 compared to the global average of Rs. 23,878 ($ 358) due to cybercrime.

“Besides the financial loss, there is an emotional impact as well ... Close to eight in 10 respondents said they would feel devastated if their personal financial information is compromised, while 36 per cent said they felt sad after being affected by online crimes compared with 19 per cent globally.”

Only 40 per cent respondents were confident of knowing what to do if they fell victim to any online crime. The global study, covering 17 countries and 17,125 device users aged above 18, comprised inputs from over 1,000 people from India.

The report found that baby boomers (55 years and above), a group often considered less tech-savvy, have more secure online habits than the millennials (born between 1980s and early 2000)

Risky behaviour

“While millennials, born in the digital era, often throw caution to the wind with 31 per cent admitting to sharing passwords and other risky online behaviour. They are more reckless in many ways, with only one in four believing they have most responsibility when an online crime occurs,” Mr. Chopra said.

Four in 10 millennials believe that they are not “interesting enough” to be a target of online crime, Mr. Chopra said. “In reality, however, more than seven in 10 millennials in India have ever experienced a form of cybercrime, with every second millennial (54 per cent) experiencing it in the last 12 months alone. Also, 32 per cent Indians (driven mostly by millennials) reported having their mobile device stolen compared with the global average of 15 per cent,” Mr. Chopra said.

Despite concerns towards cybercrime, only 41 per cent said they use a secure password.

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