Cybercrime in India soaring! You won't believe what our world rank is on hacking; top tips to protect yourself

Cybercrime in India is rising fast, according to a report by Netherlands-based Surfshark. How big is the hacking record? 18 out of 100 Indians have suffered from data breaches.

| Updated on: Jun 15 2022, 13:06 IST
Cybercrime and hacking
India is the sixth most data-breached country in the world, says a cybercrime report by Netherlands-based Surfshark. (MINT_PRINT)
Cybercrime and hacking
India is the sixth most data-breached country in the world, says a cybercrime report by Netherlands-based Surfshark. (MINT_PRINT)

India ranks sixth in the world when it comes to highest incidents of data-breaches, according to a new research by Netherlands-based firm Surfshark. The study went back as far as 2004, when the first digital attack was recorded, to compile the data. Cybercrime in India is so prevalent that the study suggest as many as 18 out of every 100 Indians have suffered from data breaches since 2004. The breaches include personal information including phone numbers, address, email id, passwords and more. With an increasing trend of cybercrime in the nation, it has become important to know how to protect yourself from malicious hacking attempts. Read on to find out.

India ranks sixth in the world in total data-breaches incidents

The Surfshark analysis mentions that between 2004 and the second quarter of 2022, a total of 14.9 billion breached accounts were reported. Explaining why the number appears so high, it said, “Most people use the same email for different accounts when registering online. That's why a single email or account can be breached several times in different cases and some numbers may seem so high”.

According to the data, India has suffered a total of a whopping 254,890,201 data-breaches till date. The overall impact of these data-breaches has resulted in 962,693,690 leaked data points. Leaked data points indicate how many pieces of information have been stolen in all the data-breaching incidents. Among them, the most leaked data is password which has seen 139,452,180 reported incidents. Other pieces of information stolen by hackers include password hash (79,883,943), name (71,535,842) and phone number (68,665,606). The study also noted that 31.5% of total breached accounts did not contain information about the person's country of residence, which means the study was not able to add those numbers to any country's data and the respective number for individual countries can be a lot higher than suggested.

Looking at the data from the second quarter of 2022, India has ranked second with 3.6 million breaches. The first rank has been taken by Russia which reported more than 25 million data breaches incidents. It is believed that the elevated numbers are due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Comparing the total historic data, USA ranks at the first position, followed by Russia, China, Germany and France. If the findings of this study has gotten you worried, then check the following tips to ensure a higher digital security for yourself.

How to protect your online accounts from hackers

Step 1:

Keep your passwords a mix of numbers, alphabets and special characters to make it hard to guess. Randomize these characters for better efficiency.

Step 2:

Make sure to have a password which is at least 8-12 characters long. Longer passwords will make it harder for a hacker to figure out correctly.

Step 3:

Use two-factor authentication or if possible multi factor authentication to have multiple hurdles before someone can hack into your account. Mobile OTP is a very good way to add layers to your password security.

Step 4:

Change your password regularly so even if your password was compromised, your account can stay safe.

Step 5:

Do not write down your passwords on cheque books, or other bank account books or papers you have. Do not send them on social media like WhatsApp, Facebook etc either. 

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First Published Date: 15 Jun, 13:06 IST