A new study has found that the problem of cybercrime is growing rapidly around the world, with nearly half of those who responded, engaging in questionable behaviour online.
The Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact, which surveyed 7000 adults in 14 countries around the world, demonstrates that while nearly three quarters of those who took part had been the victim of cybercrime, a growing number of users had adopted fake identities and engaged in online lies, spying on others and illegally downloading media files.
Marian Merritt, who conducted the report, says we are all guilty of taking advantage of the anonymity that the online world affords us. She said: “The anonymous online world we live in enables many of us to engage in activities that would be clearly illegal if done in the physical world.”
Nearly half the respondents felt it was ‘legal’ to download music, albums and movies without paying. One third of users of online dating services used a fake online identity while 45 percent lied about personal details such as age, sex and income. The survey showed the problem most prevalent in Germany, where 53 per cent have a fake online ID and 51 percent lied about personal details.
And globally, more than a quarter of those going online had taken someone else’s picture and edited, emailed or posted it online without first getting permission. 1 in 4 users had secretly viewed someone else’s email or browser history.
The report also demonstrates that users are adapting their online activities around cybercrime. In Australia, 80 percent of adults don’t open emails from strangers to avoid malware, while in New Zealand, 86 percent of users never share their passwords. Indeed, 73 per cent of global users are extremely careful with private information, with 71 percent being careful of email attachments from strangers, in an effort to avoid scams like phishing, which cost consumers $8 billion dollars over the past two years.