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06 Mar 2018
Half the Dutch don’t know how to defend against cyber crime

Two thirds of the Dutch population believe that there is a growing risk of facing internet crime in the coming years. At the same time, only half of the Dutch (53%) appear to know how to protect themselves against online threats.

These are the findings of a survey commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security, involving 1,033 respondents. The ministry has started a campaign to make people more resilient against internet crime.

45% of the respondents are aware that cyber criminals are after their personal details, but not nearly everyone takes the right precautions. For example, half of the Dutch population occasionally puts off software updates. And as many as four in ten people regularly use free public Wi-Fi networks.

Passwords repeated
The same percentage (four out of ten) choose the same password for multiple accounts, for example for their email, bank account and web shops. One fifth of computer users in the Netherlands who have a single password for multiple accounts, will use the same password for more than ten accounts.

Het treffen van voorzorgsmaatregelen tegen internetcriminaliteit kan een groot verschil maken. Door bijvoorbeeld software-updates direct uit te voeren en sterke wachtwoorden te gebruiken, is de kans kleiner dat internetcriminelen bij persoonlijke gegevens kunnen, zoals foto’s, wachtwoorden en bankgegevens.

Taking precautionary measures against internet crime can make a big difference. Installing software updates immediately and using strong passwords will reduce the risk of internet criminals gaining access to personal data, such as photos, passwords and bank details.

“Internet criminals are getting smarter ainand smarter. They will do everything to gain access to computers, smartphones and tablets”, says Justice and Security Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus. “Therefore, it’s important that we give more attention to our online security: all of us will lock the front door when we go outside, but we don’t do this with our digital doors. With our new campaign, we want to encourage people to protect themselves better online. By following a few simple tips, we can make things much more difficult for cyber criminals.”

4 tips to arm yourself against cyber criminals

  1. Install software updates immediately
    Software updates often include security updates that help keep your data better protected. Always immediately perform all software and app updates on your computer, tablet and mobile phone.
  1. Learn how to spot fake hyperlinks
    A scam email containing a fake link is one of the most common ways to extract your data. If you recognise a fake email and don’t click on any links or attachments, you won’t fall into this scammers’ trick.
  1. Create regular backups
    This way, you will avoid losing your pictures, texts and other files on your computer when it is hit by a ransomware for example. Don’t forget to make backups of the files on your mobile phone and tablet
  2. Use strong passwords
    Passwords are strong when they are hard to guess and difficult to hack. Don’t repeat your passwords on different sites and use a password management application – a digital safe for your user credentials – to help you keep your passwords locked down. An added advantage is that you will always have your passwords at hand.

About the campaign
The Netherlands Ministry of Justice and Security has launched the public campaign against internet crime to help people better protect themselves against cybercrime. The main campaign platforms are on social media: Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. The government has also commissioned a radio commercial calling on people to take measures against internet crime.