13% of Irish internet users have suffered online fraud

Nearly a third of Irish respondents have discovered malicious software on their device

Pamela Newenham goes through the Eurobarometer cyber crime survey and highlights the threats to your software devices.

 

An estimated forty per cent of Irish internet users have received emails or phone calls trying to get access to their computer or personal details such as banking information, according to a Eurobarometer survey.

More than 1,000 people were interviewed in Ireland for the survey on cyber security.

Nearly a third of Irish respondents said they have discovered malicious software on their device, but just over half of them have installed anti-virus software. This compares with an EU average of 61 per cent who have taken this precaution.

The survey found 13 per cent of Irish Internet users have experienced online fraud where goods purchases were not delivered, counterfeit or not as advertised, a little above the EU average of 12 per cent. Experience of online fraud was highest in Poland (19 per cent) and lowest in Greece (4 per cent).

Some 9 per cent of Irish Internet users say that they have experienced or been a victim of identity theft, above the EU average of 7 per cent. Experience of identity theft was highest in Romania and Hungary (both 11 per cent) and lowest in Bulgaria and the Netherlands (both 3 per cent).

Sixteen per cent of Irish respondents - the third highest in the EU - said they have had experience of their social media or email account being hacked.

While internet access in Ireland has never been higher at 80 per cent, we are still behind Sweden (96 per cent) the Netherlands (95 per cent) and Denmark (94 per cent).

Greece, Portugal and Romania had the lowest rates of internet access in Europe.

The overall EU-wide survey saw more than 27,000 people interviewed on the topic of cyber security, with the majority of respondents concerned their personal information is not being kept secure by public authorities and websites.

A total of 67 per cent said they worried about information not being safely held by public authorities, while 73 per cent said they were concerned over website security.

Approximately two in three Internet users in the EU said they were concerned about experiencing identity theft (68 per cent) and about discovering malicious software on their device (66 per cent).

More than half are concerned about being the victim of bank card or online banking fraud (63 per cent); having their social media or email account hacked (60 per cent); scam emails or phone calls (57 per cent) or online fraud (56 per cent).

EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said cybercrime undermines consumer confidence in the use of Internet, hampering both our digital economy and our online lives.

“Our priority is to create a safer Internet for all users by preventing and combating cybercrime in all its forms, to enable users to reap the full benefits of the digital internal market and to exercise their fundamental rights online,” he added.

The figures come as EU officials call on internet telecommunication companies to share encryption keys with EU authorities as part of a wider crackdown on terrorism.