Mumbai: In a worrisome data, 59 per cent of Indian adults have experienced cybercrime in the past 12 months, findings from the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report revealed. It also revealed that cybercrime victims collectively spent 1.3 billion hours trying to resolve these issues.
The study showed that of the 36 per cent of Indian adults who detected unauthorized access to an account or device in the past 12 months, around half of them felt angry (49 per cent) or stressed (49 per cent) as a result. Furthermore, around 2 in 5 felt scared or vulnerable and 3 in 10 felt powerless. Despite this, only 36 per cent purchased security software or increased pre-existing security software as a result of detecting unauthorised access to their account or device.
“In a year of lockdowns and restrictions, cybercriminals have not been deterred. More Indian adults fell victim to identity theft in the past 12 months and most are concerned about data privacy,” said Ritesh Chopra, Director Sales and Field Marketing, India & SAARC Countries, NortonLifeLock. “While the report suggests that many Indian consumers (90 per cent) are taking proactive steps to safeguard their data, 2 in 5 still feel it is impossible to protect their privacy (42 per cent) in this age or say they don't know how to do so (42 per cent). It is therefore crucial for consumers to seek expert advice and take active measures to safeguard their online privacy,” he added.
Remote working more vulnerable to cyber threats
The study reveals that 7 in 10 Indian adults (70 per cent) believe that remote work has made it much easier for hackers and cybercriminals to take advantage of people. About two-thirds (66 per cent) said that they are more worried than ever before of being a victim of a cybercrime. Similarly, 63 per cent of Indian adults report that they feel more vulnerable to cybercrime than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Identity theft and online privacy
Over 2 in 5 Indian consumers (45 per cent) have experienced identity theft, with 14 per cent impacted in the past year alone (up from 10 per cent in 2019), which means over 27 million Indian adults experienced identity theft in the past 12 months.
Most consumers (60 per cent), whether they have experienced identity theft or not, are very worried that their identity will be stolen.
Most Indian adults are concerned about data privacy (75 per cent) and want to do more to protect it (77 per cent). In fact, 76 per cent are proactively looking for better ways to protect their privacy and 9 in 10 (90 per cent) have taken steps to protect their online activities and personal information, nearly three-quarters of whom (74 per cent) say they have done so due to changes in lifestyles and work environment since the pandemic began.
The sixth annual Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, conducted online in partnership with The Harris Poll, surveyed more than 10,000 adults in 10 countries including 1,000 adults in India.