Awareness of risk of cyberfraud among consumers, but lack of proper protection

Press release -

Over the past year 8% of consumers in the Netherlands have fallen victim to cyberfraud. As many as 19% expect to become victims in the coming year. At the same time, three quarters of Dutch consumers believe that they are sufficiently aware of the risk of cyberfraud. A third of consumers believe that they understand the risks and have done all that they can to minimise them. Yet they barely do more than consumers who do not believe that they are protected. On average, Dutch consumers rate themselves 7 out of 10 for cybersecurity, while in fact they mostly find it to be a confusing issue. These are the results of a survey of over 1,000 Dutch consumers that GfK conducted for ABN AMRO.

Nadine Ballangée, Senior Business Expert at ABN AMRO, explains, “The Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism and the Dutch Ministry of Justice already announced last week that consumers aren’t protecting themselves enough in terms of cybersecurity. ABN AMRO’s survey confirms their conclusion. One reason that’s often given is that it’s complicated. However, you can already make major improvements with just a few simple measures.”

Ballangée calls for a public statement announcing five basic rules for online payments:

  1. Always install updates on your telephone and computer, to protect yourself against vulnerabilities that have been discovered in the software.
  2. Check the website’s quality certificate: see whether the website has an official and valid quality certificate before you make a payment or place an order in a webstore.
  3. Do not trust suspicious emails: if you do not know the sender or if the text looks strange, do not open any web links or attachments.
  4. Do not share your codes with anyone: your bank will not phone you to ask for your PIN or your login details. Do not give them to anyone who asks.
  5. 4G is more secure than WiFi: when making a payment or placing an order, use your mobile network instead of public WiFi

ABN AMRO and other banks are working hard all the time to add new security measures. “We’re always on the lookout to detect new fraud attempts. We stay in close communication with other organisations such as the police, the legal authorities and of course other banks in order to take action. We also see it as our responsibility to teach consumers about possibilities for actively improving their own cybersecurity.”

Lack of sufficient protection by consumers

The survey also revealed that a quarter of consumers do not use anti-virus software and/or a firewall. Only slightly more than half of them check websites for a secure connection (https), and fewer than half (44 percent) check for the Thuiswinkel trustmark. Even though they do little to protect themselves, consumers mostly consider preventing cyberfraud to be their own responsibility. They want help taking the right measures.

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