One in four Germans have been victims of internet crime

The German Federal Office for Information Security ( has published the results of an online survey completed in April 2019 by 2000 people aged between16 and 69 years old[1]. 24% of respondents claimed to have been the victim of internet crime. 29% of respondents felt that the risk of falling victim to a digital crime was “high” or “very high”.

36% claimed to have been victims of fraud while shopping online, 28% of phishing, 26% of viruses or Trojans, 18% of identity theft, 13% of extortion software, and 13% of cyber-mobbing. Some respondents claimed they had been the victim of several types of crime.

61% of respondents stated that they were using antivirus programmes, 58% secure passwords, 52% firewalls, 36% immediately installed software updates, 32% regularly changed their passwords, and 19% used encrypted email services (respondents were able to select multiple answers). As a consequence of this reality, 73% searched for information on internet security. 24% visited the Federal Office for Information Security’s website, and 47% visited police websites. Only 34% said they hadn’t heard about those websites.

The age-group most likely to report a crime to the police is 60-69 years (41%) and 50-59 years (40%), with people from 16 to 29 years and 30 to 39 years the least likely to do so (23%). The group that keeps itself most informed about the internet is 50 to 59-year-olds (38% regularly and 40% when a problem arises) and 60 to 69-year-olds (37% and 38%). The subject most people searched for information on was online banking (62%). Although the vast majority had heard about preventative measures, only a minority takes them into account and tracks them regularly (9%).

Among those that have already fallen victim to digital crime, the most frequently used protective measures are updated firewalls (50%), more secure passwords (44%), and updated antivirus programmes (40%).



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