Australia ranks 4th highest in global cybercrime victims per capita

Cybercrime upset woman at laptop
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Australia is among the top countries in the world when it comes to cybercrime, ranking fourth highest in terms of cybercrime victims per capita in 2021, according to research from privacy protection company Surfshark.

With 102 cybercrime victims per one million internet users, Australia was only beaten by the UK, US, and Canada. Interestingly, 2021 saw an 8% year-on-year increase in victims of cybercrime, but Australia encountered a 22% decrease, compared to the UK’s significant 40% rise in victim complaints.

The top 10 countries ranked by cybercrime density throughout 2021 are as follows:

  1. UK
  2. US
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. Greece
  6. South Africa
  7. Netherlands
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. Mexico

What were the most common cybercrimes?

For the third year running, phishing was the most common cybercrime, with 323,972 victims reported in the study. It follows recent reports of an increase in scammers imitating the business networking platform LinkedIn in phishing attempts. Fortunately, phishing victims record the average lowest amount of money lost at US$136 per person. On the other end of the scale, investment fraud victims lost an average of US$70,811.

On the latter point, Surfshark cited an FBI claim that cryptocurrency may be related to the large sums of money taken due to its prevalence in instances of investment fraud. Surfshark also mentioned data from the Internet Crime Complaint Center, reporting 34,202 cryptocurrency-related complaints and up to US$1.6 billion lost in total. Overall, cryptocurrency crime has risen, thanks in part to its anonymous and irreversible nature.

Data researchers at Surfshark highlighted the importance of cybersecurity knowledge and education to avoid potential threats online. The company claims cybercrime has claimed at least 6,502,323 victims and over US$26.1 billion in lost money over the past 21 years. To help keep users informed, Surfshark publishes the Data Vulnerability Thermometer combining research algorithms with open-source FBI data to cover global cybercrime and online security trends.

This research is a stark reminder of the need to be vigilant online. Be wary of suspicious links and store your sensitive data securely away from cybercriminals.

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