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Ukrainians Suffer from Cyberbullying, Internet Fraud, and Hacker Attacks

Cybercrime in work

Online safety is an extremely pressing issue of the present-day world. After all, it is difficult to imagine our lives without a digital environment. However, society gets a lot of problems along with information from the network. This is confirmed by the results of the Online Safety survey, conducted by the Ministry of Digital Transformation and the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the support of the European Union Advisory Mission in 903 Ukrainian localities. Promote Ukraine publishes its main findings.

Cybersecurity

  • 5% of respondents aged 15 and older had experience of online situations that upset / embarrassed them over the past six months. The indicator among respondents aged 12-14 years is lower – 14%. At the same time, women and girls faced such situations more often than men and boys: 31% of women aged 15 and older had such an experience against 20% of men.
  • About 9% of respondents aged 15 and older were victims of cyberbullying or defamation or image-based violence over the past six months. 6% say they were victims of cyberbullying, 3% – defamation, 2% – image-based violence. Among respondents aged 12-14, 8% say they were victims of cyberbullying over the past six months.
  • Most respondents who have encountered such situations do not consider them serious for themselves.
  • The majority of respondents aged 15 and older (60%) and 12-14 years (63%) believe that it is law enforcement agencies that should take measures to stop cyberbullying.
  • Two out of five respondents aged 12-14 (42.5%) had experience of aquaintance with strangers on the Internet over the past six months, and 13% had meetings with these people after that. Among those who had meetings with strangers, they met on the Internet, 22% did not report it to anyone.
  • One in three respondents aged 15 and older (34%) experienced Internet fraud over the past six months, although the vast majority of them consider the consequences to be minor.
  • Out of eight situations that could be related to Internet fraud, 65% of respondents say they encountered at least one of them.
  • 23% of respondents say that they experienced hacking of their account on social networks or messengers
  • The issue of personal data collected on the Internet is of concern to 48% of respondents (of much concern to 18% of them), while 17% claim the leakage of personal data. Respondents aged 15 and older consider hacker attacks (47%) and selfish interests of database managers (34%) the biggest threats to their personal data. At the same time, 81% of respondents trust only themselves in matters of personal data protection. Only 14% trust government agencies.
  • Respondents aged 15 and older say most often that in order to combat malware on devices connected to the Internet, it is necessary not to visit unsecured sites (54%), to install anti-virus programs (47%), and not to open e-mails with dangerous attachments (41%).
  • 27% of respondents aged 15 and older and 29% of respondents aged 12-14 encountered hate speech on the Internet. In addition, 12% of respondents aged 15 and older encountered extremist content. The vast majority of those who had such an experience do not see it as having serious consequences for themselves.
  • Among the 10 categories of population asked whether aggressive statements on the Internet are acceptable, 57% answer they are rather or completely unacceptable.

Fakes and disinformation

  • 90% of respondents aged 15 and older agree that there is a lot of disinformation and fakes on the Internet. At the same time, 57% believe that law enforcement agencies have to combat the dissemination of disinformation and fakes. Another 39% believe this should be done by resource owners, 36% – by the state.
  • 73% of respondents aged 15 and older believe that they are able always or in most cases to distinguish between reliable information and fakes, including 27% who believe that they can always do it. Men are more confident in their ability to identify fakes.

Addiction to technologies

  • The majority of respondents aged 15 and older – 44% – agree that they noticed that they spend more time on the computer than they intended. A quarter to a third of 15+ year old respondents also agree that their relatives say they spend too much time online, that they happen to eat at the computer (or neglect food), that they have dry eyes, that they neglect household chores. Other situations were reported by 8-19% of respondents aged 15 and older.
  • Among respondents aged 12-14 years, 58% say they spend more time at the computer online than they wish to, and 68.5% note that their relatives say they spend too much time online. Nearly half of respondents admit they eat at the computer or neglect household chores. A third have changed sleep patterns, and one in four makes more acquaintances on the Internet than in real life.
  • The younger respondents, the more they are dependent on technologies. Whereas the average number of situations is 3.7 and the value of the index is 32 among respondents aged 15-19 years, respondents aged 65 and older have 2.0 situations and an index of 19.

What comes in the future?

Currently, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, jointly with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and with the financial support of the European Union Advisory Mission Ukraine, are actively working to create a single online platform for combating Internet threats.

The platform aims to create a single mechanism that will allow citizens to receive the most up-to-date information on how to stay safe online, and to file complaints about the violation of their rights with simultaneous submission to the appropriate agency.

EUAM Deputy Head of Mission, Fredrik Wesslau noted, “Digital transformation and innovation is becoming an increasingly important part of our world. The pandemic has not only underscored this but also accelerated this trend. This is why we at EUAM have made digital transformation and innovation a key priority. EUAM supports its Ukrainian partners with using the transformative power of innovative technologies to enable law enforcement agencies to better cater to citizens’ needs while also taking into account principles of data protection, human rights, and good governance.”

Natalia Tolub

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