DigitalizationMajority of German consumers already affected by cybercrime

Today, the digital association Bitkom published new survey results on cybercrime on the Internet for the year 2022. The results show that 75 percent of German consumers have already been affected by cybercrime – for example by malware, scams when shopping online or insults on social media.
For this representative study, Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom conducted telephone interviews with a total of 1,014 Internet users aged 16 and above in Germany about their experiences and assessments of cybercrime.

These are further details:

  • In 2022, 75 percent of German Internet users said they had been affected by cybercrime, i.e. the theft of personal data, scams in online shops or assaults on social media.
  • 22 percent of respondents reported to have used the Internet without any such experience – compared to 34 percent in 2020 and even 40 percent in 2019.
  • Affected consumers reported various forms of cybercrime, such as personal data being passed on without permission (46 percent), fraudulent online shopping (29 percent), misuse of account data in online banking (13 percent) or malware and virus infection on their computer (27 percent) or smartphone (17 percent).
  • Further, consumers reported massive insults and attacks (23 percent) and sexual harassment (9 percent) on social media, which affected women (13 percent) twice as often as men (6 percent).
  • In response to these incidents, consumers have often exchanged information with friends or acquaintances (56 percent), contacted the provider of the respective social media platform, bank, or email service (47 percent) or deleted their account (18 percent). Around one third (32 percent) did not respond to the incidents at all.
  • Another 18 percent of respondents filed a criminal complaint with the police, nine percent informed authorities such as the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and only one percent contacted a lawyer.

Bernhard Rohleder, Bitkom CEO, commented: "Anyone who is active on the Internet must expect to encounter cybercriminals. That's why it's important for everyone to take appropriate security measures - ranging from using secure passwords and installing anti-virus software to sharing personal information sparingly. But common sense also helps against cybercriminals. As in the analog world, the same applies in the digital world: If offers from online stores, for example, are simply too good to be true, you should keep your hands off them. And anyone who is asked for money online by distant relatives or acquaintances should check whether they really are the people they claim to be. Anyone who becomes the victim of a crime should report it. Often, this is also possible online. Laws apply online just as they do offline. And in the same way, the state must protect people from crime online just as much as offline."

Source: Bitkom

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