DigitalizationDigital Scoreboard 2021: Consumers do not protect themselves sufficiently against cybercrime

Today, the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), together with the Police Crime Prevention of the Federal States and the Federation (ProPK), published the Digital Scoreboard 2021. The results show that a quarter of German consumers have already been victims of crime on the Internet. Almost one third of young people between 19 and 29 years old underestimated cyber crimes, but were also the most frequently affected.

For this consumer-related study on the current state of knowledge, trends and needs regarding cybercrime and IT security, the BSI and ProPK conducted a representative online survey with 2,025 people between the ages of 14 and 69 in April and May 2021.

These are further details:

  • A quarter of German consumers said they had already been victims of crime on the Internet.
  • Young users between the age of 19 and 29 were the least likely to see themselves in danger, but at the same time were the most frequently affected. One third already experienced cybercrime – for example, by third-party access to an online account (31 percent), downloading malware (28 percent) and phishing (25 percent).
  • Those affected by cybercrime most frequently suffered the loss of important data (27 percent) or financial losses (11 percent) – usually between 20 and 2,000 euros. However, the loss of valuable time and trust in corresponding online services, as well as damage to reputation also played a role.
  • The respondents reported using an average of three to four security measures to prevent cybercrime on the Internet, but a large proportion neglected simple measures such as automatic updates for their devices.

Gerhard Schabhüser, BSI Vice President, noted: "The number of consumers using secure passwords is steadily increasing to more than half. Nevertheless, the prejudice persists that IT security is complicated. Although two-thirds of respondents are aware of the common recommendations, only 12 percent fully implement them. Unfortunately, few people still activate automatic updates on their cell phones, for example, to close dangerous security gaps. This makes as much sense as locking the back door and leaving the front door wide open. We need a routine in our daily lives to secure our digital home. Just as everyone closes their doors when they leave the house, digital doors need to be closed with simple protective measures."

Source: BSI

More information and the Digital Scoreboard 2021