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1 in 2 Indian adults fell prey to hacking in last 12 months

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More than one in two Indian adults (59 percent) experienced cybercrime in the last 12 months, as seven in 10 Indian adults (among those surveyed) believed that remote work has made it much easier for hackers and cybercriminals to take advantage of them, a new report revealed on Monday.

More than 27 million Indian adults experienced identity theft in the past 12 months and 52 per cent of Indian adults admitted they don’t know how to protect themselves from cybercrime, according to the ‘2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report,’ by NortonLifeLock.

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“In a year of lockdowns and restrictions, cybercriminals have not been deterred. More Indian adults fell victim to identity theft in the past 12 months and most are concerned about data privacy,” said Ritesh Chopra, Director Sales and Field Marketing, India and SAARC Countries, NortonLifeLock, a consumer security company.

While many Indian consumers (90 per cent) are taking proactive steps to safeguard their data, two in five still feel it is impossible to protect their privacy (42 per cent) “in this age or say they don’t know how to do so”.

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“It is, therefore, crucial for consumers to seek expert advice and take active measures to safeguard their online privacy,” Chopra added.

The report, conducted online in partnership with The Harris Poll, surveyed more than 10,000 adults in 10 countries including 1,000 adults in India.

About two-thirds (66 per cent) of Indian adults said that they are more worried than ever before of being a victim of a cybercrime.

While 52 per cent turned to their friends for help, 47 per cent contacted the company that the account was hacked from for help resolving the issue.

“Similarly, 63 per cent of Indian adults reported that they feel more vulnerable to cybercrime than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic began,” the report said.

Most Indian adults are concerned about data privacy (75 percent) and want to do more to protect it (77 percent), it added.

Over two in five Indian consumers (45 per cent) have experienced identity theft, with 14 per cent impacted in the past year alone (up from 10 per cent in 2019), which means over 27 million Indian adults experienced identity theft in the past 12 months.

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