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Over 27 million Indian adults experienced identity theft in the past 12 months, says Norton report

A new cybersecurity report records responses from a total of 1,000 Indian adults and finds that around 60 per cent of them have been a victim of cybercrime within the last year.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | April 19, 2021 | Updated 13:41 IST

Highlights

  • Around 45 per cent of Indian adults have experienced online identity theft.
  • About 63 per cent of Indian adults say that they feel more vulnerable to cybercrime since the pandemic.
  • A total of 1.3 billion hours have been spent trying to resolve these issues.

A new report indicates that 59 per cent of Indian adults have been a victim of cybercrime in one way or another in the past 12 months. These victims have collectively spent 1.3 billion hours trying to resolve these issues.

The report comes as a part of new findings by NortonLifeLock. In its 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, the cyber safety major surveyed more than 10,000 adults in 10 countries for the results. The findings included responses from 1,000 adults in India.

The report indicates that out of the 1,000 respondents in the country, 36 per cent of Indian adults detected unauthorized access to an account or device in the past 12 months. Over 2 in 5 Indian consumers (around 45 per cent) have experienced identity theft to date. Around 14 per cent of these victims were impacted in the past year alone. This means over 27 million Indian adults experienced identity theft in the past 12 months, the report states.

It further records that around 60 per cent of Indian adults are very worried that their identity will be stolen. While 65 per cent feel they are well-protected against identity theft occurring, many have no idea as to what is to be done in case of identity theft.

The seemingly vulnerable group consists of the older generation, with 60 per cent among those aged 40+ confirming the fear. More than two-thirds or 68 per cent wish they had more information on what to do if their identity were stolen.

Around 75 per cent of Indian adults are also concerned about data privacy and wish to do more to safeguard it. About 76 per cent are proactively looking for better ways to protect their privacy, and 9 out of 10 people have taken steps to protect their online activities and personal information.

Remote working to be blamed?

A possible reason for the increased cybercrime is the increase in online activities that followed remote working. The study reveals that 7 in 10 Indian adults believe that remote work has made it much easier for hackers and cybercriminals to take advantage of people.

Since remote work became the norm only after the Covid-19 pandemic began, about 63 per cent of Indian adults report that they feel more vulnerable to cybercrime than they did before the pandemic. Despite the vulnerabilities, around half 52 per cent say they do not know how to protect themselves from cybercrime. 68 per cent say it is difficult for them to determine if the information they see online is from a credible source.

The report highlights how fear is not translating into proactive measures by Internet users. Despite all the fears of cybercrime, only 36 per cent purchased security software or increased pre-existing security software as a result of detecting unauthorized access to their account or device, it states.

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