Cybercrime: How our demographics makes us the target

Dart - three arrows in red.

Reading this, you are probably in the riskiest region to be online, namely Northern Europe or North America. 

Protection, such as legal and technical measurements on a country level has some effect – having a low score on Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) corresponds with less vulnerability – but other factors, like high income, has more impact on the overall result.

These are the findings of NordVPN, a large personal virtual private network service provider. Their study of 50 countries – 70 percent of the world’s population – resulted in the compilation of a Cyber Risk Index (CRI).

The index estimates the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime, segmented by country. The scale ranges from 0 to 1 (1 signifying maximum risk).

At the bottom of the list we find India, Nigeria, and Iraq – India being the safest with a CRI of 0.186.  At the top we find Island, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and United States. United states with a CRI of 0.713.

High income and advanced technology equals lager risk

The demographical risk factors for a country being the target of cybercrime is not surprising, when thinking about it.

  • When the average income is high, as well as the economy, the country is a more profitable market for cyber criminals.
  • Higher internet penetration, advanced technological infrastructure and digitalization of services and resources provides the criminals with lots of access points. So does a high use of social media and public Wi-Fi.
  • As the average time spend on internet is high, the risk of being the victim of a cybercrime naturally is higher. (Consequently, low average time explains the overall good result for India.)

Characteristics of cybercrime victims

Worldwide, 20 % percent, has been the victim of cybercrimes. In the United States the number is slightly higher: 25 %.

NordVPN found that the average victims were tech-savvy individuals spending more time online and having a higher income, then the general population. They also had quite prominent occupations as business owners and managing directors.

Due to the increasing use of Internet all over the world, NordVPN predicts that cybercrime will increase. Northern Europe and North America will continue to be the most exposed.

>>> Read the Cyber Risk Index report in full via NordVPN 

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