Overwhelming number of internet users now fear becoming a victim of identity theft and account takeover -- and most are right

Helsinki, Finland—May 29, 2019: As massive data breaches continue to make international headlines and the Internet is an integral part of our daily lives, consumers are now grasping the risks they face. In a new F-Secure survey, 71% of respondents say they feel that they will become a victim of cyber crime or identity theft, while 73% expressed similar fears about their kids.*

“These findings are absolutely staggering and show many people are seeing the damage of cyber crime or identity theft firsthand,” said Kristian Järnefelt, Executive Vice President, Consumer Cyber Security at F-Secure.

The survey finds that over half of the consumers have had a family member affected by some form cyber crime (51%). Malware or viruses are the most common threats encountered followed by credit card fraud then SMS/call fraud. One out of four users said that they have been impacted by several forms of cyber crime.

“It’s almost impossible to avoid using the Internet in 2019. Cloud services are now a norm, yet we don’t always know what information about us has been collected, and where it’s stored,” said Järnefelt. “F-Secure’s B2B cyber security teams are already seeing many of these cloud services or businesses becoming lucrative targets for the criminals to steal massive amounts of consumer data.”

Businesses have increasingly accepted the realization that the question is not whether they will be breached but when. This means that even consumers who practice excellent cyber security can suffer the loss of personal data.

“Once personal information has been leaked, it is impossible to get it back. And you may not be aware of potential issues for years,” Järnefelt said. “It is a matter of speed in most of the cases. If consumers can react fast enough, criminals may well find their stolen goods are useless.”

Traditional cyber crime is still more prevalent than identity theft or account take-over, yet latter types of attacks keep increasing. Therefore, a comprehensive approach to consumer cyber security is necessary.

“Consumers deserve the same complete protection we offer our business customers but tailored to how we as individuals use the Internet,” said Antero Norkio, Vice President, Product Management at F-Secure. “We need to cover the full cyber security process from preventing threats from happening to adding new detection and response capabilities to know you’re under a targeted attack.”

To address consumers’ concerns around identity theft and account take-over, F-Secure will launch during 2019 a completely new F-Secure ID PROTECTION Service. This comprehensive service will be designed to protect consumers before, during, and after a breach:

  1. End-point and privacy protection offering neutralizes phishing and malware attacks, while VPN technology keeps consumers safe from eavesdropping when using public Wi-Fi
  2. Easy to use yet powerful password management capabilities make it a breeze to create unique, strong passwords to every service and minimize exposure should a breach take place
  3. 24/7/365 monitoring of public web, deep web, and dark web for leaked personal information
  4. Prevent identity theft and account takeovers with guided responses to breaches before criminals can take advantage of the personal information
“When asked where you would like to buy this type of a service, many consumers preferred to get it via a trusted local broadband or mobile operator,” concludes Norkio. “This creates a massive opportunity for our 200+ operator partners worldwide to offer a holistic security service, or selling ID PROTECTION as a new type of stand-alone value-added service.”

*Source: F-Secure Identity Protection Consumer (B2C) Survey, May 2019, conducted in cooperation with survey partner Toluna, 9 countries (USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Brazil, Finland, Sweden, and Japan), 400 respondents per country = 3600 respondents (+25years)


About F-Secure

F-Secure makes every digital moment more secure, for everyone. We deliver brilliantly simple, frictionless security experiences that make life easier for the tens of millions of people we protect and our 170 service provider partners. For more than 30 years, we’ve led the cyber security industry, inspired by a pioneering spirit born out of a shared commitment to do better by working together.

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