Report: 84% of US citizens have experienced social engineering attacks

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    As American society becomes more digitized, cybercriminals are becoming more common in our daily lives, increasing the number of social engineering attacks we encounter every day. New data from NordVPN surveyed the prevalence of social engineering and the awareness surrounding it (or lack thereof), which found that 84% of Americans have experienced some form of social engineering, with phishing being the most common.

    The report covers the most common forms of social engineering and the steps online users and IT administrators can take to protect themselves from these attacks. When it comes to the different types of social engineering, it is clear that phishing is the most common. Of the 84% who encountered these scams, nearly half (48%) reported suspicious emails containing links and attachments and/or asking for their personal information.

    Other common types of social engineering reported include smishing (phishing-like text messages) where 39% reported receiving suspicious texts containing links and/or attachments asking for their personal information. Thirty-seven percent experienced hard-to-close pop-up ads, and another 27% received suspicious voicemails asking the recipient to disclose personal information.

    While many of those surveyed claim they are implementing online security, it’s clear there’s still work to be done. Of the same 84% who experienced social engineering attempts, 36% admitted: actually fall for one or more of the social engineering scams they encountered. Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) of those victims said their email, social media or financial accounts were locked; 14% had their personal credentials stolen or paid for something they didn’t receive; and 11% were scammed into investing money or their work credentials were stolen.


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    NordVPN security experts surveyed 1,002 U.S. consumers ages 18 and older, who were nationally representative of the U.S. population by age, gender, region, and ethnicity.

    Read the full report by NordVPN.

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