Although developed countries are better prepared to tackle statewide cybersecurity challenges and have better IT education, that has little impact on cyber threats on an individual level. Their residents are more attractive targets for cybercriminals because of higher income and more time spent online. Such findings were revealed in a new global Cyber Risk Index, which covered 50 countries, comprising 70% of the world population.
“Cybercriminals don’t look for victims, they look for opportunities — much like pickpockets in crowded places. The more time you spend on the web, the more services you use there, the more money you spend online, the higher the possibility you’ll run into a cybercriminal,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
According to Markuson, cybercriminals rarely target individual people. More often, they spin a vast web of traps and hope to catch oblivious victims. That’s why they often focus on citizens of developed countries as the gain can be higher.
According to the Cyber Risk Index, if you live in one of these countries – you are a more attractive target for cybercriminals:
- United Arab Emirates
- The United States
- New Zealand
- The United Kingdom
Northern Europe is the most dangerous region when it comes to individual cyber risks, while North America is a close second. In both regions, more than 9 out of 10 people use the internet, 8 out of 10 shop online, and 7 out of 10 use Facebook. This leads to increased exposure to cyber threats.
It is predicted that the internet will gain more than a billion new users in the next five years. This growth will mostly come from low-risk countries, like India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Ukraine, South Africa, Mexico, Philippines, and others, where internet penetration is still low. According to Markuson, this means that cybercriminals will have the luxury to choose from a much larger pool of easy targets.