`76% Indians victim of cybercrime`

About 60 percent said they were attacked by some form of computer virus and malware.

Updated: Sep 26, 2010, 12:46 PM IST

New Delhi: India seems to be the worst affected nation online, with over three-quarters of Indian web surfers having fallen victim to cybercrimes, including computer viruses, online credit card fraud and identity theft, security solutions provider Symantec said.

According to a study titled `Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact`, about 65 per cent of Internet users globally have fallen victim to cybercrime, while the number is much higher for India at 76 percent.

About 60 percent respondents said they were attacked by some form of computer virus and malware, making it one of the most common ways of attack, it added.

"Today cybercriminals are devising newer means of attacking innocent people online. India has one of the highest numbers of cybercrime victims. What is more important is that they feel helpless on whom to approach once they are attacked," Symantec Country Sales Manager (Consumer Products and Solutions - India) Gaurav Kanwal told a news agency.

The report noted that while 58 percent of the victims (India) said they felt angry, 51 percent said they felt cheated, while another 46 percent annoyed/upset. In many cases, they blame themselves (88 percent) for being attacked.

Nearly 57 percent respondents said they expect cybercriminals will not be to be brought to justice, resulting in a reluctance to take action and a sense of helplessness.

"It`s like you don`t argue with the mechanic since you don`t know too much about cars. There is a sort of `learned helplessness` and people just accept a situation, even if it feels bad. They know not much will happen even if they do report," he said.

The report surveyed 7,066 adults aged 18 and over across 14 countries including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, the US and the UK.

Once attacked, while victims in India are most likely to change their online behaviour (59 percent), while 53 percent said they would restrict the websites visited. About 46 percent people said they would call their bank.

In contrast, globally 51 percent respondents said they would change online behaviour, 48 percent said they would call their bank, while 44 per cent people said they would call the police.

Solving cybercrime in India also came out as a tough job. According to the report, it takes an average of 44 days to resolve a cybercrime in India and the average cost to resolve that crime is Rs 5,262. This is against a global average of 28 days and USD 334 (Rs 15,000).

"Most people don`t know what to do when they are attacked. Even though banks and the government is taking steps to educate people on cybercrime, but more needs to be done," Kanwal said.

Symantec believes that people can protect themselves and their computers through few easy ways.

"Simple steps, such as having up-to-date security software in place, not giving out financial or other details about themselves online and not opening suspicious mails and links can help users protect themselves on the web," Kanwal said.