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Cybercrime victims feel guilty

Anger is the most common feeling among those who have been victims of computer attacks, but almost all claim to feel responsible for what happened, reveals a recent Symantec study, which sought to assess the psychological impact of this reality in 14 countries.

Of the seven thousand Internet users interviewed, 65 percent admitted to having been victims of online threats, from scams to malware or harassment by sexual predators. In all these cases, guilt is present, with the victims feeling responsible for what happened to them.

Among the various threats, viruses and malware are the most affected, with 51 percent of respondents claiming to have suffered infections. Scams (10%), phishing (9%), attacks on social media profiles (7%), credit card fraud (7%) and harassment by sexual predators (7%) are as follows on the list .

With regard to guilt on the part of victims, phishing is the practice that most arouses this type of feelings among those affected. Seventy-eight percent say they feel “highly responsible” for the attacks of this kind they have suffered. Scams (globally considered) arouse the same feeling in 77 percent of cases and 73 percent consider themselves responsible for infections by viruses and other types of malware that their machines have suffered.

This idea, coupled with the fact that justice will not be done, means that most of those targeted do not complain to the police about the attacks, with security forces being referred to as the means to contact by only 44 percent of respondents.

The feeling of helplessness is just one more, adding to the list of “emotional” reactions to cybercrime provided by the study’s authors, who also claim that only 9 percent of respondents feel “very safe” online, 86 percent are concerned about Web threats and 28 percent expect to be victims of fraud.

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Despite this, only 51 percent of adults anticipate a change in their online behavior if they are victims of attacks.