76% of consumers don’t see themselves as cybercrime targets

67% of consumers across the globe are concerned about the security and privacy of AI, according to Bitdefender survey.

consumers cybersecurity practices

AI uses personal data to feed its machine learning algorithms, and the rising amount has raised serious concerns about data storage, usage, and access – concerns that traditional data protection laws are not equipped to answer. Respondents in Spain were most concerned at 80% in contrast to Italy where only 49% stated the same.

“The sudden rise of AI adoption by cybercriminals has been a game changer and poses an unprecedented threat to consumers’ digital safety. With a surge in AI-assisted texting scams, fraud attempts, and expertly crafted phishing emails, consumers must remain vigilant to understand, prioritize, and apply cybersecurity best practices,” said Ciprian Istrate, SVP of operations at Bitdefender Consumer Solutions Group.

Lack of mobile security awareness

The top-ranked concern for consumers is cybercriminals accessing their finances at 48%, followed by identity protection at 17% with 78% of all respondents stating they use a mobile device to conduct sensitive transactions such as banking, accessing investment accounts, managing crypto wallets or for healthcare.

However, 45% of respondents don’t use any mobile security solution. The top reason (38%) is that users trust iOS and Android to be secure, followed surprisingly by 23% stating they didn’t know you could buy security solutions for mobile devices.

Of all those surveyed, 24% reported that they experienced one or more security incidents in the last 12 months. At 37.6%, Australia led the number of respondents who experienced a security incident, followed by Spain (27.7%), the US (26.7%), and Germany (26.3%). Italy had the fewest, at 16.14%, followed by the UK (17.2%) and France (19.6%).

37.5% of respondents aged 16-24 reported having experienced a security incident compared to 11.9% aged 55 and over. This correlates with the ability to recognize (or not recognize) scams as one ages.

Average consumer manages 6 to 10 online accounts

Surprisingly, SMS (texting) scams were the most experienced security incident by 45.4% of overall respondents edging out fraud attempts at 44%, phishing email (42%), data exposure (27.5%), malware infection (16.4%) and doxxing (9.2%).

Malware infections were reported highest amongst those aged 35 to 44, suggesting Millennials are more inclined to download unofficial software or pirated content and click on suspicious links.

35.7% of all respondents stated they manage between six to 10 (or more) online accounts to support their digital lifestyle including shopping, banking, social media, and entertainment. The US led in respondents having 10 or more accounts at 7%, and France led with respondents having the fewest accounts (between one and two) at 42%.

Poor cybersecurity practices among consumers

Obtaining password credentials has always been a core objective for cybercriminals, yet how consumers continue to manage their passwords is alarming. 37% of respondents write their passwords down and 34% use the same password for two or more accounts. 17.3% use the web browser autofill feature, and 14.4% use Apple’s strong password autofill feature. On a positive note, 23% of the surveyed stated they use a password manager.

76% of all respondents stated they don’t believe they are a target or were unsure. While this statement is correct, the context from a consumer’s point of view may be misleading and lending itself to poor cybersecurity practices. Cybercriminals typically don’t target an individual (a common misconception) but rather look for vulnerable systems and leverage poor cybersecurity behavior to their advantage.

Don't miss