Cyber crime nails 8.8 million South Africans

Norton has released its findings from the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report revealing that over 8.8 million South Africans fell victim to cyber crime in the past year.

The report was based on a survey of more than 18,000 consumers across 18 markets, including about 1,000 across South Africa.

The research shed light on the global impact of consumer cyber crime, showing that:

  • 76% of South Africans believe that identity theft is more likely than ever before;
  • 67% feel it is more difficult to control their personal information as a result of smartphones and the Internet;
  • 78% acknowledge the need to actively protect their information, but there is still some notion that security is an inconvenience;
  • 58% would rather cancel dinner plans with their best friend than have to cancel their credit/debit cards after their account has been compromised;
  • And the same percentage (58%) would rather endure a terrible date than deal with credit/debit card customer service after a breach or hack.

According to Norton, online crimes are increasingly prevalent in South Africa, with more than 1 in 7 consumers having had unauthorised access to a social network profile.

Compared to their global counterparts, South Africans have heightened sensitivity to online information compromises.

South Africans are also more likely than their global counterparts to consider themselves tech savvy, but despite this, South African millennials are less likely to take personal responsibility for their security.

Nearly a third of South African millennials admit to abandoning an account rather than deleting it simply because it was easier (31%).

“The good news is more and more consumers are aware of the risks of cyber crime but the bad news is they neither feel they are doing enough to prevent it, or feel that technology has prevented them from being able to do anything about it,” said David Ribeiro, Head of Norton, Middle East and Africa.

“Despite personal experience, many South Africans continue to put themselves at risk when it comes to online activity.”

Additional findings in the report include:

  • Nearly 20% of SA consumers do not have a password on their smartphone or desktop computer;
  • 60% of consumers say it is riskier to share their email passwords with a friend than lend them their car for a day;
  • Storing credit/banking information in the cloud is viewed as riskier than not wearing a seatbelt;
  • South Africans are more likely to own internet-enabled devices than their global counterparts; smartphones and laptops being most common;
  • Though most devices are protected, South Africans falter when it comes to protecting home theatre devices, wearables, and Internet-connected video game systems;
  • Devices considered easiest to hack are among the most frequently used, such as a smartphones and laptops.

Too much hassle to be careful 

The research has shown that although there are considerable interest and fear in cyber crime, South Africans consider security measures to be a hassle.

58% would rather cancel dinner with their best friend than cancel their debit or credit cards when hacked.

  • Over a third of South Africans admit to password sharing with email account passwords most shared;
  • Nearly 70% change their passwords after they’ve been compromised… meaning nearly a third don’t (32%);
  • Over half check their accounts after a breach has been announced by the media;
  • While nearly half of South African password users always use one that is secure, 20% still only do so when required;
  • Dealing with the consequences of a stolen identity is considered more stressful than many everyday inconveniences.

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Cyber crime nails 8.8 million South Africans