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The US is the 5th most vulnerable to cybercrime according to new research

06-03-2020 04:51 PM CET | IT, New Media & Software

Press release from: NordVPN

Americans are at a high risk of becoming victims of cybercrime, according to the new Cyber Risk Index by NordVPN. The US has a high-income economy, advanced technological infrastructure, urbanization, and digitalization. However, these same factors increase the prevalence of cybercrime.

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index covers 50 countries comprising 70% of the world population. The US ranks as the 5th most vulnerable to cybercrime out of the analyzed countries.

What increases the cyber risk in the US

The US has landed in the high cyber risk bracket because of significant exposure to cyber threats. “Cybercriminals don’t look for victims, they look for opportunities — much like pickpockets in crowded places,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Spend enough time riding in a packed bus, and a pickpocket will ‘accidentally’ bump into you. Same story online. Your cyber risk increases with every extra hour online.”

NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index shows that 88% of Americans use the internet. 8 out of 10 Americans live in cities, have smartphones, and shop online. 7 out of 10 Americans use Facebook. All this presents more opportunities for cybercriminals to strike.

“Americans shop, stream, and communicate online. 2 out of 10 Americans play online games — that’s a huge, the 3rd highest score globally,” says Daniel Markuson. “Plus, the US boasts the 3rd densest public Wi-Fi network in the world. That’s a dangerous combination. These hotspots are famously unsecure — without extra security layers, you’re a sitting duck when on public Wi-Fi.”

The average monthly wage in the US is the 6th highest in the world. “As your income increases, it’s only natural to enjoy the comfort of online shopping and other paid services. But that makes you a much more enticing target for cybercriminals,” says Daniel Markuson.

What decreases the cyber risk in the US

The US has an outstanding score (2nd globally) on the Global CyberSecurity Index, which is calculated based on legal, technical, organizational, and capacity building factors on a country level. This puts the US ahead of Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates.

However, cybersecurity infrastructure has a limited impact on cybercrime. “Cyber risk management on a national level is obviously important, but it hardly makes a dent on its own. Online security has to be tackled individually. Understanding what increases the cyber risk — that time spent online and income are very important factors — is a profound step towards a safer digital life,” says Daniel Markuson.

The method behind the Cyber Risk Index

NordVPN created the Index in partnership with Statista, the world’s leading business data provider. The Index was created in three stages. First, Statista collected socio-economic, digital, cyber, and crime data from 50 selected countries. Second, NordVPN analyzed the data’s positive and negative impact on cyber risk and calculated the correlation between the first three data sets (socio-economic, digital, cyber) and the fourth (crime).

Finally, NordVPN trimmed the data down to the 14 most significant factors, used them to create the Index, and ranked the 50 countries according to the cyber risk they’re facing.

NordVPN
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ABOUT NORDVPN

NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider, used by over 12 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy. For more information: nordvpn.com.

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