Economy & Politics

Four out of ten Germans have already been attacked online

It can affect everyone on the Internet. Cybercrime is a reality for a large part of Germans. In Germany, 38 percent of private internet users have been victims of a cyber attack. This was the result of a representative YouGov survey commissioned by the German Insurance Association (GDV). The 2079 participants were most often exposed to these types of online attacks (multiple answers were possible if “Yes”):

  1. Viruses: 17 percent
  2. Hacker attack: ten percent
  3. Data theft (for example through phishing): eight percent
  4. Identity theft: seven percent
  5. Cyberbullying: four percent
  6. other attacks: three percent

Every tenth respond to the question “Have you or someone in your circle of friends or acquaintances been affected by a cyber attack before?” With “don’t know / no answer”. 52 percent said no.

Internet threat

Participants were asked what they perceive as the greatest threats on the Internet. Germans are particularly concerned about personal data, although fewer people are affected in this area:

  1. Identity theft: 26 percent
  2. Data theft: 24 percent
  3. Hacking attack: 23 percent
  4. Virus threat: twelve percent
  5. Cyberbullying: eight percent
  6. don’t know / no answer: seven percent

Young participants in the survey were particularly afraid of cyberbullying. More than one in five named this point as the greatest risk when using the Internet.

According to the GDV, only around two thirds of Germans protect themselves against cyber risks. Most (over 80 percent) use firewalls and virus scanners and take care not to open attachments from unknown senders. More than 60 percent of cautious Internet users are skeptical about friend requests from strangers on social networks or the disclosure of personal data.

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