Cybercrime futures – AVG
Since the “first public sites were made available on the world wide web and email
began to become a mass communication medium, nearly two decades ago,
cybercrime has been a problem for individuals, businesses and organisations.
Now, cybercrime has changed.
And while there are actions that governments and the internet security industry can take to alleviate the threats it poses, experts agree that the real answers lie in changing the behaviour of consumers and computer users themselves.
Unless we take responsibility for the safety of our online transactions and the information we share over the internet, the ubiquitous technologies and intuitive interfaces that we will come to rely on in the future will become our greatest vulnerabilities.
Already, criminals are “finding new ways to access our “finances and data through the smartphones in our pockets – and consumers are worryingly unconcerned about this threat. In addition, a minority of web users, unprotected against the global threat of cybercrime, threaten the ‘herd immunity’ of us all.
According to our study, nearly 1 in 10 internet users across Europe are not protected against computer viruses and the malicious software – malware – that hackers across the world are constantly creating. Younger internet users are particularly susceptible to this laissez-faire attitude, creating a ticking time
bomb for web users around the globe.
As we share increasing amounts of personal information online, and begin to adjust our notions of what privacy means, the rise of social networking is creating new opportunities for criminals as well.
Consumers across Europe fail to agree on whose responsibilityit is to keep the internet, and our online information, safe. In our survey, only web users in Germany thought that individuals should shoulder more responsibility than internet service providers, brands and companies, the government or the police.
And, while some industry insiders predict the end of the internet, or the rise of a new breed of ‘white-hat’ hackers, experts agree that increased individual vigilance about cybercrime – in the home, on the move, in small businesses and in the boardroom – is the only way to combat this growing threat.