With easy access to the internet becoming a crucial element in India’s digital growth, cybersecurity is one of the next biggest concerns for Indians. A new report has now stated that a large number of Indians have faced some form of cybercrime including hacks, identity theft and other issues in the past 12 months alone.
Cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock has released findings from the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, stating that over 27 million Indian adults have experienced identity theft in the past year. The report states that over 59 per cent of Indian adults have experienced cybercrimes in the past 12 months and that cybercrime victims have collectively spent around 1.3 billion hours trying to resolve these issues.
Is remote work contributing to increased cyber-attacks?
The report adds that seven in 10 Indian adults (70 per cent) believe that remote work has made it much easier for hackers to take advantage of them. Remote work has also forced a lot of people to take work to their personal computers and laptops, which are often not as securely protected as office machines.
“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,” Ritesh Chopra, Director of Sales and Field Marketing, at NortonLifeLock said.
The survey also revealed that of the 36 per cent of Indian adults who detected unauthorised access to an account or device in the past 12 months, about half felt angry or stressed as a result of the issues. Further, two in five people felt scared or vulnerable, while three in 10 felt powerless against the cybercrimes they became a victim of.
The report further states that over two in five 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).
About 66% of Indians are afraid of being cybercrime victims
About 66 per cent of Indian adults also stated that they are more worried than ever before about being a victim of a cybercrime. Meanwhile, 63 per cent of Indian adults have said that they feel more vulnerable to cybercrime than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Despite the cyber crimes, 52 per cent of Indian adults have reported not knowing how to protect themselves from cybercrime, and 68 per cent say it is difficult for them to know for sure if the information they see online is from a credible source.
In spite of this, only 36 per cent of Indian adults are estimated to have invested in security software or have increased their pre-existing security software as a result of detecting unauthorized access to their account or device. Over 25 per cent of people turned to their friends for help, and 46 per cent got in touch with the company that the account was hacked from.