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Survey: Most Europeans fear cybercrime but fewer take security measures

Survey: Most Europeans fear cybercrime but fewer take security measures

Half of those surveyed have not changed online passwords in the past year

Just 48 percent of European Union Internet users surveyed several months ago had changed any of their online passwords during the past year, despite 76 percent believing that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime has increased.

The survey, which was carried out by Eurobarometer in May and June, questioned more than 27,000 people. It found that 52 percent think they are not sufficiently informed about cybercrime risk.

Only half of those surveyed said they used the Internet to shop or bank online. Those who do not reported that they were concerned about the misuse of personal data and the security of online payments.

Of the survey respondents 12 percent have had a social media or email account hacked and seven percent have been the victim of credit card or banking fraud online.

The European Commission says it is working to strengthen the E.U.'s overall response to cybercrime. The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) was launched in January and in August the E.U. adopted new rules criminalizing botnets, networks of infected computers that send spam and viruses.

Earlier this week, Europe's top cybersecurity agency, ENISA, called for better data sharing and interoperability among CERTs (Computer Emergency Response Teams). ENISA says that CERTs still face legal and technical obstacles to sharing and exchanging security information, and that the increasing complexity of cyberattacks requires more effective cross-border information sharing.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

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