The costs are mostly related to different kinds of fraud. And there, in turn, identity theft and credit card fraud account for the largest part. The average cost of an identity theft reported to be SEK 70,000, taking into account only the purely economic criteria of costs. To this must be added the time lost dealing with all other problems also resulting from an identity theft.
In short, it is huge amounts that evaporates every year. It is in itself nothing new, but an important reminder because we still seem to be far from a situation where politicians and police take the problem seriously.
YOU CANNOT BLAME THE VICTIM
A worrying detail in the Symantec report is that, so many of the victims actually have been fooled by seemingly “simple” things. In fact, 36% of the affected have been victims of phishing attacks and 48% of Swedes state having shared their online accounts. One in five even share their online bank login with someone else.
Some people believe the users have themselves to blame. Given the vast amount of information and warnings out there in recent years, no one should make that mistake. Let us rather think the other way around.
Because despite the fact that more and more people are aware and alerted, more and more people are affected. Since the scammers constantly are developing and using smarter methods. Those who are not fooled by phishing are approached in other, more advanced ways.
The conclusion is simple. Simply telling people to use better passwords, not to share personal data online just like that or not to click on links in emails is not enough. We need to find new solutions and ways to address the problem. The police must become better at investigating and catching the perpetrators. And we in the industry need to be even better at helping both pre-emptively and reactively.
Let us hope that the turning point will arrive soon.