How often do Brits get hacked?
Nord’s latest research shows that a UK citizen suffers a cyberattack three times per year on average. So each second, 5.5 cyberincidents take place in the country, which means that a Brit experiences such an incident every 0.2 seconds.
While such statistics sound scary, the research treats cybercrime in a broad sense. So it doesn’t mean that users experience ransomware or have their data stolen each second. The research also takes into account such commonplace incidents as aggressive pop-ups, suspicious emails, and dodgy websites. Many cybercrimes happen without our knowledge. If you click on a suspicious pop-up, it won’t necessarily drain your bank account immediately but can inject cookies that will trace your actions.
Most popular cyberincidents in the UK
Now let’s see in greater detail what cyberincidents UK citizens experienced the most in the last 12 months. Hard-to-close pop-up advertisements are the most frequent cyberincident experienced by around 50% of surveyed users. The second place goes to suspicious emails, links, and attachments coming from users’ email addresses. Such attacks affected about 30% of users. Around 30% of users also experienced the random opening of dodgy websites they didn’t click on.
Luckily, the numbers are smaller when we discuss cyberattacks with more dire consequences. Only 19% of users got infected with a virus, while around 18% had their passwords stolen or accounts hacked. Cybercriminals successfully stole credentials, financial data, or money from 12.5% of users, and 11% of users experienced ransomware, one of the most severe present online threats. Around the same amount had their data damaged or computers destroyed due to a cyberattack.
Webcam hacks are among the least popular — hackers took over webcams of only 7.7% of users.
How to prevent cybercrime
While serious cyberattacks are rarer than annoying pop-ups, we shouldn’t undermine their threat. They still affect many users, so we should protect ourselves properly. Here are a few tips:
- Don’t open any suspicious links, messages, or attachments.
- Don’t download software or media from unofficial sources, because they can contain malware.
- Always update your software to have the most up-to-date security patches.
- Use a VPN. It will encrypt your traffic, hide your IP, and protect you from snoopers. Moreover, NordVPN has the Threat Protection feature, which helps you identify malware-ridden files, stops you from landing on malicious websites, and blocks trackers and intrusive ads on the spot.