TechRobot has carried out research on the real-world crime and cyber crime rates of the 36 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, as well as sharing how well informed citizens are about crime. They have also revealed whether Europeans feel concerned about experiencing certain crimes and how regularly each European country changed their email password in the last 12 months, in response to cyber crime.
Europe is considered one of the safest continents in the world and is the only continent to have not seen a decline in safety since 2009, according to the Institute for Economics and Peace. In addition, technical innovation has been a fundamental source for good, allowing convenience, access to information and increased communication. However, this also means that there is a new type of crime citizens need to be aware of: cyber crime.
The Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) has stated that cyber crime is becoming more aggressive and confrontational. Phishing, pharming and fraudulent credit/debit card misuse are just some of the types of cyber crimes users need to be aware of.
Which are Europe’s most dangerous countries for cyber crime?
TechRobot’s analysis reveals that the most dangerous country for cyber crime is the United Kingdom. According to a study carried out by Detica for the Cabinet Office, the UK suffers losses of £27bn per annum due to Cyber Crime, with the predominant victims being UK businesses. 13.64 for every 100,000 citizens in the UK experience financial losses due to cyber crime, which is the highest rate in Europe.
In addition, with the UK having the highest rate of online ID theft (20.5 in every 100,000 people) and credit/debit card fraud (47.7 for every 100,000 citizens), it’s not surprising that people living in the UK have changed their email password the most out of all the countries researched in the last 12 months. These were changed at a rate of 354.68 per every 100,000 people.
Just behind the UK is France, which has the second-highest rate of cyber crime in Europe at 497.2 per 100,000 citizens. French people experience social media account hacking at a rate of 19.63 in every 100,000 people, which is also the second-highest amongst the countries researched.
Lots of people tend to use very simple, easy-to-guess passwords and reuse these for many different accounts. This allows hackers to easily access more than one account. This may also shed light on why French people believe the risk of becoming a victim of cyber crime is increasing. The rate of this concern is at 529.95 per 100,000.
With the highest rate of this crime at 302 per 100,000 citizens, it is not surprising that 662.81 per 100,00 German people believe that the risk of becoming a victim of cyber crime is increasing. Despite this, many Germans are not at all informed about the risks of cyber crime, with 100.68 for every 100,000 citizens lacking knowledge about the dangers.
Germany also has the fifth-highest rate of experiencing pharming, as this scam happens to 58.73 Germans for every 100,000. This is another online scam similar to phishing in which a website’s traffic is manipulated by a hacker, and confidential information can be stolen. Essentially, it is a cyber criminal creating a fake website and then redirecting users to it.
The country with the largest population, Germany, comes third for being most at risk from cyber crime. German people experience the misuse of personal information online more than any other country in Europe, in particular phishing. This crime is a type of online scam where cyber criminals impersonate legitimate organisations in order to steal sensitive information. This impersonation can come in the form of an email, text message, advertisement or other means.
What are Europe’s safest countries relating to all crime offences?
North Macedonia ranks as the safest country in the study, with an extremely low rate of 39.89 real-world crime offences and a rate of 5 cyber crime offences per 100,000 citizens. Although the country isn’t the safest for every crime in Europe, for instance, the intentional homicide rates are 1.49 per 100,000 people which is the 8th worst in Europe, it consistently ranks low in all categories of real-world crime. Even though the country is only the thirteenth safest country relating to cyber crime, compared to the UK’s rate of 572.94 offences in every 100,000 people which makes it the most dangerous, it is relatively safe.
From phishing and social media account hacking to fraudulent credit/debit card use and online identity theft, the Balkan country, Montenegro has extremely low rates of cyber crime. The total amount of cyber crime per 100,000 citizens is 0.5, making it the safest country. The country experiences the lowest rates of phishing throughout Europe at a rate of 0.19 per 100,000 citizens as well as the overall misuse of personal information on the internet which is 0. Moreover, the total real-world crime rates are 274.20 per 100,000 inhabitants, making Montenegro the second safest country in Europe when it comes to these types of crime.
Analysis shows that 320.98 Albanians will experience real-world crime in every 100,000, making it the third safest country in Europe. They have the lowest rate of burglary at 5.23, compared to that of the UK which has the highest rate of 1,311.13 per 100,000 British people. Albania is also the safest country for fraudulent credit/debit card use and experiencing a financial loss due to Cyber Crime, as 0 people per every 100,000 are affected by these crimes.
Which countries are the most concerned by the threat of real-world and cyber crime?
Italy is the fourth most dangerous country for cyber crime in the OECD. Cyber crime offences impact Italians at a rate of 229.40 per every 100,000 citizens. Surprisingly, Italy has the highest rates of citizens not being aware of the risks of cyber crime at all: 162.99 citizens per every 100,000 are not conscious of the serious ramifications.
However, Italians seem to be more aware of the increasing risk, as the rate of Italians believing the risk of becoming a victim of cyber crime is 416.54 per 100,000 citizens.
Changing your email password every couple of months is a great way to keep your personal information and data safe and cyber secure. Analysis reveals which countries in Europe changed their email password in the last 12 months, in response to taking measures against cyber crime.
They found that the UK, Germany and France had the highest amount of email password changes in the last 12 months with rates as high as 354.68, 344 and 215.91 per 100,000 citizens. Whereas the countries that had the lowest number of password changes in the last year were Malta, Luxembourg and Finland with low rates of 1.64, 2.92 and 3.05 respectively.
Overall Europeans seem to be worried about cyber crime and feel the risks of these types of crimes are increasing
The rates of cyber crime are relatively low apart from five main countries: the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. These five countries have greater rates of cyber crime, in particular fraudulent credit/debit cards, social media hacking and online impersonation. Europeans seem to be worried about cyber crime and feel the risks of these types of crimes are increasing, particularly in the five said countries.
Methodology and Sources
TechRobot analysed data about the rates of real-world crime and cyber crime of 36 countries in Europe, as well as analysing how well informed citizens are about cyber crime, how fearful and what measures citizens take in order to protect themselves against real-world and cyber crime.