A survey by HSB, part of Munich Re, has shown results for a continuing increase in identity theft, cyberattacks and online fraud as criminals steal personal information and millions of dollars.
The survey conducted by Zogby Analytics found that 77% of consumers were very or somewhat concerned about online identity theft.
Because of the rising amount of people working from home due to COVID-19, the risk of identity theft has equally become higher. This is due to workers using their personal Wi-Fi connection whilst dealing with sensitive information online.
Almost as many were concerned with the potential of getting hacked or by having their personal data stolen whilst shopping on a public Wi-Fi connection.
Those fears were reflected in the nationwide survey results.
“Americans are more connected than ever, linking all types of devices and systems to the internet,” said Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB, a provider of cyber insurance and services.
He continued: “That gives criminals new opportunities to target individuals at home and on public Wi-Fi networks.”
Although ransomware attacks were steady by only 11%, victims were more likely to pay criminals to unlock their data or keep it private. About half said they paid the ransom, in most cases $2,000 or less, compared with about one-third in the earlier surveys.
Online consumer fraud nearly doubled from previous HSB surveys to 16 percent of individuals, who said most of the crimes were committed through payment services (48%), online auctions (21%) and dating websites (20%).
Almost a quarter of consumers (23%) had their email or social media accounts interfered with, taken over or used by an unauthorised person, adding to the slowly rising trend.
More than half of fraud victims lost over $500 and a third lost more than $1,000.