The most sensitive to the activity of e-scammers during the pandemic are women and respondents aged 25-34, according to the study of the website ChronPESEL.pl and the National Debt Register. On the other hand, Poles over 45 are susceptible to extorting personal data.
A study commissioned by the website ChronPESEL.pl and the National Debt Register under the patronage of the Office for Personal Data Protection showed that over 43 percent. Poles are afraid that during the pandemic they will fall victim to fraudsters who extort personal data. Almost 30 percent. has already faced such an attempt. At the same time, more than 84 percent. of us declare that they know how to take care of their safety.
The young are the best prepared for the clash with criminals, as they are much better than the older ones in verifying the received messages, the authors of the study indicated. At the same time, 2/3 of respondents believe that during the pandemic, criminals who extort personal data are more active than before. The greater activity of fraudsters was noticed by women (over 70%) and respondents aged 25–34 (nearly 73%).
"A positive phenomenon is the greater awareness of security and the method of verification of frauds among the youngest respondents" - said Bartłomiej Drozd, expert of the ChronPESEL.pl website, partner of the National Debt Register, in an interview with PAP. "This allows us to hope that over time we will be able to take better care of the security of our personal data" - he pointed out.
The elderly have the most doubts that during a pandemic we are exposed to criminals more often than before. Among the respondents between 55 and 74 years of age, the percentage of "clearly convinced" amounted to less than 18%, and in the 45–54 age group slightly more than 16%.
At the same time, almost 30 percent. of respondents declare that during the pandemic they received "a suspicious message prompting them to act related to the disclosure of data". It was most often noted by young people aged 25–35 (almost 38%). In the messages received, respondents were most often asked to click on the link (over 49%), download an attachment (over 44%), make a transfer or payment (over 28%) or provide personal data (almost 26%).
"Despite the greater activity of criminals and a large number of fraud attempts, 83% of respondents say they know how to recognize a fake message" - Drozd explained, commenting on the results of the study. The surest of this are young people aged 18–24 (over 91%) and 25–34 (89%). On the other hand, people between 45 and 54 have the most doubts. Over 1/5 of them have trouble recognizing fake news.
When asked how they check the received messages, the respondents most often replied that they verify the sender's e-mail address (over 66%), check the telephone number from which they were called (almost 55%) and read the sent message carefully and watch it. the graphic and stylistic layer of the received message (over 53%). The sender's number on the Internet is most often checked by young people (almost 3/4 of them). "People aged 55–74 cope with all verification methods worse. Only about 40 percent of them meticulously check the submitted links" - indicated Drozd.
The director of the Department of Jurisprudence and Legislation at UODO, Monika Krasińska, quoted in the study, admitted that among people over 45 years of age, awareness of threats is slightly lower than among the youngest respondents. "It was largely younger people who noticed a greater frequency of false messages. This may mean that the oldest group of respondents does not always identify some messages as potentially dangerous" - she pointed out, referring to the study.
Experts pointed out that fraudsters catch victims not only online. They also try to extort data by calling people and refer to, for example, representatives of the Sanepid, who allegedly verify whether their interlocutor qualifies for quarantine. They also pretend to be employees of the Ministry of Health who register for vaccinations.
Drozd warned against scammers who would want to use the National Population and Housing Census launched on April 1, 2021. "We can ask the calling enumerator for the ID number to be checked on the Internet and arrange an interview at another time, when we are already sure who we are talking to. "- he noted. He reminded that the best way to protect personal data is to be careful. "Keep an eye on your documents, provide information about yourself only if we are sure who will receive it and how it will be used" - he added.
According to the survey, the youngest respondents (18–24 years old) have the greatest confidence in themselves, of which nearly 26% she is absolutely sure that she knows how to take care of herself, and respondents aged 25–34, where this percentage was over 24%. Older age groups are less confident in their abilities. Among the oldest respondents (65–74 years), the percentage of definitely affirmative responses was just over 12%.
"When we send personal data using electronic communication tools, we should encrypt the files we send, and the code to open them should be given through a different communication channel. .
Specialists point out that even observing all security rules may not be enough to prevent the use of our personal data. We do not know how the databases of online stores or social networks we use are secured. Therefore, in order to minimize the negative effects of identity theft, the Office for Personal Data Protection recommends, inter alia, setting up an account in the economic information system to monitor your credit activity.
The study "Personal data protection during a pandemic" was conducted in March 2021 using the CAWI method on a representative group of 1,007 respondents by IMAS International. (PAP)
author: Magdalena Jarco