Global consumers more fearful of cyber-attacks than physical crime

News by Danielle Correa

Consumers around the globe are more worried about cyber-crime than physical world crime.

Consumers around the globe are more worried about cyber-crime than physical world crime.


Recent research conducted by Sophos asked consumers about their awareness of prevalent cyber-threats. Despite harbouring concerns about cyber-crime, awareness of phishing and ransomware remains relatively low among those surveyed. The survey polled 1250 consumers in the UK, US, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


Lack of security awareness puts others at risk, too. More than half (55 percent) of those surveyed said they advise someone else, such as a family member or friend, on keeping their computer protected from malware and hackers. Of these, 14 percent are not confident that they've properly backed up and could recover data after a security breach from a computer they look after for someone else.


Thirty-two percent of those who rely on someone else to handle their cyber-security are vulnerable to a data breach.


Nearly half of all those surveyed are not familiar with email phishing scams or view them as a low threat, despite phishing being the “gateway” to malicious online activity.


More than 30 percent of those surveyed are not familiar with ransomware or perceive it as a low threat, despite it being the most notorious and debilitating cyber-threat right now.


“People understand how to protect their home or car – they feel they've got the physical world covered. Whereas cyber-criminals are invisible and the virtual crime world is unpredictable and complicated, especially when it comes to cyber-threats like phishing and ransomware,” said John Shaw, vice president, Enduser Security Group, Sophos.

“Attacks today usually start from legitimate websites that have been hacked – unbeknownst to the people visiting them – or from phishing – to lure consumers into opening dodgy documents or clicking malicious URLs. Once unwitting users have clicked, ransomware executes in the background and then locks and holds hostage your personal files, photos and other valuable data until you pay the criminals money.”

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