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Most Swedes hit by internet crime: survey

Most Swedes hit by internet crime: survey

Published: 08 Sep 2010 12:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Sep 2010 12:16 GMT+02:00

More than half of all Swedes have been exposed to crime on the internet, a new survey published on Wednesday indicates.

Of those surveyed, 95 percent replied that they believe internet criminals never get caught, but experts advised that the more serious offences should always be reported to the police.

The spread of viruses is the most common crime, the survey by data security firm Symantec showed.

Many people reported having had their profiles on social network sites hacked or subjected to internet fraud, while five percent had been the victim of sex offences.

Symantec surveyed over 7,000 people in 14 countries in the survey. Despite the apparently high incidence of internet crime, Swedes escape relatively well, with only Japan reported to be more secure. In China 83 percent of respondents claimed to have been the victim of some form of internet crime.

Swedes also distinguished themselves in a number of other ways in the survey, with, for example, a greater proportion than average feeling very secure on the internet.

Furthermore Swedes are those with the lowest degree of faith in the ability of the police to solve internet crime, with 95 percent believing that criminals would never face justice.

Anders Anhlqvist at the Swedish National Police Board's internet surveillance unit conceded that there is some basis for the public's lack of faith in the police when it comes to internet crimes.

"Unfortunately it is the case that internet frauds are committed in long chains where every fraud is a relatively small crime and for us to utilize international legal assistance it has to concern a serious offence. That is why a large number of these cases are discontinued," he said.

A major problem for the Swedish police is that there are 21 authorities with their own registers for reports which can not be cross-checked as stipulated by Sweden's Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen), Ahlqvist explained. This means that it can be difficult to link up the smaller incidents into a larger case.

"This is something which the criminals are also very aware of. They ensure that they spread the risks and that reports come in from various locations around the country," said Ahlqvist.

A further problem for the police is that banks and credit card companies compensate their customers for any damage and so crimes are often not reported.

The survey also shows how victims react to the crimes. Angry, upset and offended are among the most common responses.

"I often lecture on these crimes and usually also say that I am tired that Swedes seem so blasé. One loses a couple of thousand from their account, ring the bank, get the money back and a new plastic card and are happy with that," said Per Hellqvist at Symantec.

"But this survey shows that we are affected by internet crimes. We become both angry and frustrated."

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:27 September 8, 2010 by Shanie
Whats a "sex offence" on the internet?

"A further problem for the police is that banks and credit card companies compensate their customers for any damage and so crimes are often not reported."

- Thats not a problem for the police, they couldn't be happier, we get our money back and they don't have to deal with our crap.
15:51 September 8, 2010 by millionmileman
Lack of computer security knowledge is the culprit. It is not only viruses trying to enter but Malware (Spyware) trying to retrieve information.

Most of the remedies for safe browsing are right here in Scandinavia. I use Opera 10.61 Browser (Norway) it warns of malicious sites and is much more secure and faster than IE or Firefox.

From Gothenberg I use Ad-Aware from Lavasoft to prevent spyware.

For Anti-Virus, Avast (Prague, Czech Republic). Last December 133 Trojan Horses were slaughtered by these guys and I received a personal email the next day to inform me that all was taken care of.

A true gem is Secunia 2.0 Beta from Denmark. It finds the updates that you did not know that you didn't get, including Microsoft. DO YOU UPDATES! It does them for you.

For dessert I clean and optimize with PC Tools, Registry Mechanic (Australia).

you will be shocked how every brand new computer, out-of-the-box has about 25% of space to be defraged. Yesterday, after setting up a new laptop I had to do this.

This is so critical especially when on Twitter or Facebook. when not in use close your email and browser.
19:27 September 8, 2010 by Alohart
@millionmileman

Wow! All the hassles you endure so that you can use Windows! Your computer must be a real dog with all that security software running and with all those fragmented files.

It would be such a simple solution to use a Mac instead. No need for all that security software. If no malware has invaded Mac OS X after all almost a decade, I doubt that there will be much, if any, to worry about in the future.

File fragmentation just isn't a problem under Mac OS X. When will Microsoft design a file system that minimizes fragmentation? Probably not soon considering that Microsoft has never had a decent file system.
22:20 September 8, 2010 by reason
"A further problem for the police is that banks and credit card companies compensate their customers for any damage and so crimes are often not reported."

Really? I'm pretty sure my bank demanded that I file a report with the police before they would compensate me. This was in a case of card skimming and not online fraud, but I'd expect the procedure to be similar.
00:06 September 9, 2010 by millionmileman
@Alohart

I agree with you to some extent, but because I take above average precautions as a matter of habit I am safer than the average Mac user. This is because when a virus or spyware does penetrate a Mac, it is far more malicious and nasty requiring a re-install. The hackers actually use the foulest language to let you know you are toast.

Outdated WEP wireless routers can be hacked in about 10 minutes by someone driving down a street with a hacking device. a new WILN & VPN are more secure. The best is the Apple Airport, twice the price but the best.

This was mentioned to me by the head of IT security at a Chicago, Illinois university. This is because students are experts at going on Facebook downloading files but are clueless on internet security, especially Malware.

This IT technician told me that his job was to prevent the university site from becoming infected by a bunch of students sharing their web like at an orgy.

Even Ad-Aware (Lavasoft) told me that nothing was yet available for Mac. However Secunia (Denmark) still recommends their site for Mac) as a lot of nasty stuff sneaks in on out-of-date flash drives.

While I think of it all our readers should update their Digital TVs, DVD players, recorders and with "Firmware," which updates the devices for better compatibility with the codes on the discs. This can be done by going on line to create a disc or flash-drive. Panasonic even mails update discs.

Happy surfing.
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