Today, the digital association Bitkom published the results of a representative survey on experiences with cybercrime among consumers in Germany. According to the results, 6 out of 10 consumers became victims of cybercrime in 2020, mainly via malware on their smartphones or computers.
For this study, Bitkom Research, on behalf of the digital association Bitkom, conducted telephone interviews with a total of 1,016 people in Germany aged 16 and above regarding personal experiences with criminal incidents on the Internet during the past 12 months.
These are more details:
61 percent of respondents said that they fell victim to cybercrime in 2020. Compared to the previous year this represents an increase of six percent points (55 percent).
Malware on smartphones or computers (48 percent), unsolicited transmission of personal data to third parties (33 percent) and spying on login data to social networks or online shops (17 percent) were named as the most frequent crimes.
Furthermore, the affected consumers stated that they had been massively attacked or insulted verbally in direct contact with other Internet users (13 percent). Sexual harassment in the digital world (12 percent), confrontation with unconstitutional symbols or extremist statements (six percent), theft of one's digital identity (six percent) and unsolicited sending of e-mails in one's own name (five percent) were among other incidents.
Only two percent of affected Internet users reported that their computer or smartphone had been infected with blackmail software (ransomware) that encrypted their data and only released it by paying a ransom.
Susanne Dehmel, member of the Bitkom management board, said: "Cyber criminals can now cause enormous damage even without in-depth IT knowledge or great effort. In addition, there is an increasing number of networked devices and new online services. This increases overall cyber attack surface. Users can protect themselves against malware and attempted fraud with simple measures. Secure passwords, virus scanners and software updates combined with common sense leave many cybercriminals in vain."