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Internet users in EU very concerned about cyber-security

Staff writer |
Internet users in the EU are very concerned about cyber-security, according to a Eurobarometer: 76% agree that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime has increased in the past year, more than in a similar study from 2012, and 12% of users have had their social media or email account hacked.

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While 70% of internet users across the EU are confident of their ability to use the internet to shop or bank online, only about 50% actually choose to do so. This significant gap shows the negative impact of cybercrime on the digital single market: the two main concerns about such online activities being related to the misuse of personal data (mentioned by 37%) and the security of online payments (35%).

"This survey shows the destructive impact that cybercrime has on internet use -too many people choose not to take full advantage of all the possibilities that the internet brings us. This hampers both our digital economy and our online lives. We need to strengthen European cooperation, building on the work of the European Cybercrime Centre, to get to the bottom of online organised crime." said Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs.

Encouragingly, more EU citizens feel well informed about the risks of cybercrime compared to 2012 (44% - up from 38%). However, it appears that they do not always draw all the necessary consequences from that information. For example, less than half of internet users have changed any of their online passwords during the past year (48% - slightly better than 45% in 2012).

The Eurobarometer survey covers more than 27 000 people in all Member States, and also shows that 87% respondents avoid disclosing personal information online (slightly down from 89% in 2012). A majority still do not feel well informed about the risks of cybercrime (52% compared with 59% in 2012), and 7% have been the victim of credit card or banking fraud online.

There has been a significant increase in the numbers of users who access the internet through a smartphone (35%, up from 24% in the past year) or a tablet computer (14%, up from 6%).

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