New research from NordVPN has revealed that residents of developed countries are more likely to become victims of cybercrime.
To compile its new Cyber Risk Index, the VPN provider partnered with the business data provider Statista. Statista was responsible for collecting the socioeconomic, digital, cyber and crime data from the 50 countries that make up the index while NordVPN analyzed the data's positive and negative impact on cyber risk.
The index shows that Iceland, Sweden, the UAE, Norway and the US are the countries with the highest cyber risk while India, Nigeria, Iraq, Indonesia and South Africa are the countries with the lowest cyber risk.
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Digital privacy expert at NordVPN, Daniel Markuson explained how cyber risk increases when users spend more time online, saying:
“Cybercriminals don’t look for victims, they look for opportunities — much like pickpockets in crowded places. Spend enough time 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 found that India was the least vulnerable country to cybercrime as only a third of the country's population use the internet and less than a quarter have smartphones. Cyber risk decreases with less time spent online but Markuson pointed out that Indians who do have access to the internet spend a great deal of time online, saying:
“Cyber Risk Index reflects the big picture, the country-wide statistics. Indians who do use the internet, spend a lot of time online — more than an hour longer than the average. They probably live in cities and get higher wages. That puts them at a much higher cyber risk than the average Indian.”
The research also revealed that in countries with huge income inequality, less urbanization or low internet penetration, a small segment of the population may face a much larger cyber risk than the general population as is the case in India.
One takeaway from NordVPN's Cyber Risk Index is the fact that spending less time online makes people less vulnerable to cybercrime which is another great reason to limit your daily screen time.
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After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.