Women and BAME individuals disproportionally affected by cybercrime

cybersecurity, cyber crime

Women and BAME individuals disproportionally affected by cybercrime, according to new research.

The ‘Demographics of Cybercrime’ report, conducted by Malwarebytes, a global leader in real-time cyberprotection, and US-based non-profit partners, Digitunity and Cybercrime Support Network, found that uncovered that certain demographic groups are disproportionally impacted by cybercrime.

The report, which polled more than 5,000 people across the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, details how consumers experience cybercrime worldwide, demonstrating cybercrime does not impact everyone equally. In fact, the report illustrates that demographics impact how often individuals are targeted, as well as their emotional response to becoming a victim.

Overall analysis of data suggests disadvantaged groups facing barriers in society feel less safe about their online experiences, are more likely to fall victim to an attack, and at times report experiencing a heavier emotional burden when responding to cyberattacks.

Depending on the type of cybercrime, certain groups report a higher likelihood of encountering threats online. For example, more women receive text messages from unknown numbers that include potentially malicious links than men – 79 per  cent compared to 73 per cent – and more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) respondents experienced hacked social media accounts – 45 per cent compared to 40 per cent – and instances of identity theft than White people – 21 per cent compared to 15 per cent. Additionally, the survey found that the likelihood of having one’s credit card data stolen increased in line with age, with those aged 65+ more impacted than any other age group.

Speaking of the findings, Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes said, “Understanding the impact that cybercrime has on vulnerable people (or populations), particularly women and minorities, across the world is critical as online access becomes essential to modern life.”

“The disparity between populations feeling safe online and the emotional impact of threats on already vulnerable communities is unacceptable.”

“The work Digitunity and Cybercrime Support Network are doing to educate and empower communities cannot be understated.”

“As an industry, we need to work together to make safe internet access available to everyone, regardless of income or their ability to pay.”