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1 in 4 Consumers Faced a Security Incident in the Last Year, Bitdefender Report Shows


June 03, 2024

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1 in 4 Consumers Faced a Security Incident in the Last Year, Bitdefender Report Shows

The Bitdefender 2024 Consumer Cybersecurity Assessment Report shows that password management remains one of consumers’ weakest points, with more than a third saying they write down their passwords, and almost a fifth using the same password for three or more accounts. It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that a quarter of netizens experienced a security incident in the past year – and that number only represents the people who actually know they got hacked.

Credit: Bitdefender

We asked respondents who suffered a security incident to identify exactly what type of threat they dealt with, choosing all that applied to them.

SMS scams (45.4%) came out as the most common security event experienced by consumers, followed closely by fraud attempts (44.4%) and phishing emails (42.1%). Data exposure accounted for 27.5% of the reported incidents, followed by malware infection, at 16.4%, and doxxing at 9.2%.

Credit: Bitdefender

Respondents who say they can recognize a scam are more likely to report having experienced a security incident. But those who can’t recognize scams likely have experienced one without knowing.

Credit: Bitdefender

Poor password hygiene is a leading attack vector for cybercriminals. Even if a person uses strong, unique passwords for every account, attackers still find ways to grab them and take over those accounts – either because multi-factor authentication wasn’t enabled, or they got conned into divulging their login data.

Bad actors often impersonate businesses or state entities to trick people into handing over their personal information. Americans lost over a billion dollars in 2023 to scammers impersonating businesses or government agencies, the FTC said in a report this year.

Negligent cryptocurrency enthusiasts have lost their life’s savings due to poor cybersecurity practices. The US Department of Justice recently announced a 20-year sentence for an Indian national who spoofed the Coinbase website to steal over $37 million from players in the crypto market.

Scams run rampant worldwide yet consumers still engage in complacent cybersecurity practices. It’s become imperative for netizens to employ dedicated security on their personal devices. Bitdefender also offers Scamio, a free scam detector and prevention service for anyone with a Bitdefender account. Suspicious about a certain phone call, email, or SMS? Simply describe the situation to our clever chatbot and let it guide you to safety. You can share with Scamio the exact thing you want to check, such as a screenshot, PDF, QR code, or link. Scamio lets you know in seconds if it’s a sham.




Filip has 15 years of experience in technology journalism. In recent years, he has turned his focus to cybersecurity in his role as Information Security Analyst at Bitdefender.

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