The 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report shows that 3.72 million UAE residents were affected by cybercrime over the year, with a total financial cost of AED 3.86 billion.
According to the report, over 52% of consumers were affected by cybercrime in 2017, compared to 44% globally.
The UAE has one of the highest internet and mobile penetration rates in the world, fueling the growth of the e-commerce industry. But along with the perks, numerous threats lurk online.
– Tamim Taufiq, Head of Norton Middle East
Many of these losses came from e-commerce scams, of which over 1 million UAE consumers were victims, resulting in losses of AED 321 million. E-commerce is a major industry in the UAE, projected by Frost and Sullivan to be worth $10 billion by 2018.
“The UAE has one of the highest internet and mobile penetration rates in the world, fueling the growth of the e-commerce industry,” said Tamim Taufiq, head of Norton Middle East. “But along with the perks, numerous threats lurk online. From e-commerce and online auction fraud, fake websites to bogus ticket offers, consumers may not always be able to easily spot dubious websites and offers.”
The most costly cybercrime incident in the UAE was credit or debit card fraud (AED 3,861), though globally, the most costly was identity theft ($838, or AED 3,078). 22% had their financial details compromised as a result of shopping online, 28% experienced credit or debit card fraud, and 43% were notified their personal or financial information was compromised in a data breach last year.
The report indicates that the average UAE resident is less aware of online threats than the global norm, with a greater proportion than average sharing their passwords with others, and using the same password for all online accounts. Predictably, the percentage in both cases was higher among victims than non-victims.
However, there are also indications that awareness is not the issue – the research found that although 90% of UAE residents use mobile devices to shop online, 71% feel that doing so is risky.
Despite being more likely to fall victim to cybercrime, UAE residents were less likely to believe that cybercrime should be treated as a criminal act – only 77% thought so, compared to 81% globally.