About half (52%) of the people living in the EU feel they are fairly well or very well informed about cybercrime – up from 46% in 2017.
This was one of the key findings from a European Commission survey into attitudes towards cybercrime. When asked about their capacity to stay safe online 59% of those questioned felt they could protect themselves sufficiently against cybercrime, which is down from 71% in 2017.
Among their chief cyber concerns was the misuse of their personal data, fraud, identity theft and becoming the victim of a ransomware attack.
More than a third said they had received fraudulent emails or phone calls asking for personal details in the last three years; 8% fell victim to ransomware, and 11% had their social media account or email account hacked.
As a result, a number of them reported being less wiling to use online services. 10% said their cybersecurity concerns make them less likely to make purchases online.
VP for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: “Fighting cybercrime is a key part of our work towards building a Union that protects its citizens.
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“Cybercriminals know no borders. This is why we will continue to support cooperation and exchange of information between law enforcement authorities and make sure they have the right tools and skills to address the challenges of the digital age.”
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, added: “We need to do more to raise awareness about threats and about ways to stay safe online, but we cannot stop at prevention alone.
“We need to close the growing gap between capabilities of criminals and those of law enforcement authorities. This will be one of the priorities in our new way forward on internal security.”
The EU Commission is pushing to increase cyber resilience by enforcing stronger rules against online payment fraud and is investing billions of euros in cybersecurity research, infrastructure and deployment.