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Identity Theft the Biggest Cyber Security Threat in India, 2.7 Crore Affected in 2020: Norton

Indians are among the most targeted user groups in the world in terms of cyber threats, and the Norton Cyber Safety Insights report, 2021, has further elucidated exactly how. According to Norton, some of the key aspects lie in the way Indians are being targeted for online thefts. While this may not be a big surprise, the numbers are far more emphatic when put in context – Norton claims as per its survey that 45 percent of adult Indian internet users faced identity threat in 2020, up almost 40 percent since 2019 to count at 2.7 crore – over 2 percent of India’s entire population.

Furthermore, an even bigger count – 59 percent of all adult Indian internet users, seemingly faced cyber crime in one way or the other through 2020. While it is not entirely clear as to the stipulated financial cost incurred as a result of cyber attacks, Norton states that Indians spent a total of 1.3 billion hours collectively attempting to resolve cyber crime crises. This accounts for an average of 36.7 hours per person through the year, or more than an hour each month. Such statistics further highlight the kind of regularity with which more and more Indians are encountering cyber crimes, and at a considerably alarming rate.

“Many Indian consumers are taking proactive steps to safeguard their data, but two in every five still feel it is impossible to protect their privacy in this age – or say they don’t know how to do so. It is therefore crucial for consumers to seek expert advice and take active measures to safeguard their online privacy,” said Ritesh Chopra, Norton LifeLock’s director of sales for India and SAARC. The report also underlines the impact that remote work has had on cyber security – Norton claims a number of 70 percent of all adult users – which was projected in the initial months of the Covid-19 pandemic as a side-effect of users living without the layer of enterprise grade security.

The present cyber security climate is not breaking news – headlines have regularly been captured by all-invasive malware that take over devices end to end, installing backdoors at root levels in cases of advanced spyware. Such incidents have made unsophisticated acts such as phone scams and phishing emails increasingly commonplace, with the Covid-19 pandemic sparring on cyber attackers into more and more innovative cyber breaches. With the Norton Insights report of 2021 underlining the evolution of threats last year, it remains to be seen how this year progresses, in due course of time.

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