Just over half of Cypriots stated they are well informed to protect themselves from cybercrime, a Eurobarometer released by European Commission on Wednesday showed.
According to the results of the Europe-wide survey, 51 per cent of Cypriot participants claimed they are well informed regarding cybercrime protection, impressively close to the European average of 52 per cent, up from 46 per cent in 2017.
Europeans are however growing less confident about their capacity to stay safe online, the survey results showed, as just 59 per cent of Internet users think they can protect themselves sufficiently against cybercrime, down from 71 per cent in 2017.
Main concerns of Internet users are the misuse of their personal data, fraud, being locked out of their computer and forced to pay ransom to access their own data, as well as about identity theft.
A total of 23 per cent of the Cyprus participants said they have received fraudulent emails or phone calls asking for personal details in the last three years, five per cent fell victim to ransomware, and 14 per cent had their social media account or email account hacked.
Furthermore, 26 per cent of Cyprus respondents said they experienced virus attacks, 12 per cent were unwillingly directed to extremist websites, 12 per cent have ordered goods online which never arrived, 5 per cent had been the victim of identity theft, and 6 per cent had been unwillingly exposed to child pornography.
Cybercrime concerns have far-reaching consequences, as many users of the web are left unwilling to use online services, such as online shopping, which 10 per cent of the survey participants said they avoid.
“We need to do more to raise awareness about threats and about ways to stay safe online, but we cannot stop at prevention alone. We need to close the growing gap between capabilities of criminals and those of law enforcement authorities. This will be one of the priorities in our new way forward on internal security,” Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson said.
The survey was conducted through personal interviews between October 8 and 10, 2019. It featured a sum of 27,607 EU-wide participants, 506 of which were from Cyprus.