A recent survey Telenor conducted in the Nordics has shown that digital security is a significant concern for individuals across the region. The need for digital security has become increasingly important as the world becomes more connected through technology, says Chief Technology Officer in Telenor Nordics.
The survey conducted by Kantar polled more than 1,000 individuals in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, respectively. Although there are differences across the markets, the results show that a significant proportion of the respondents are concerned about digital safety and that these concerns influence their online behaviour.
“The need for digital security has become increasingly important as the world becomes more connected through technology. In today's digital age, individuals and businesses rely on digital services for communication, commerce, and personal expression. With the proliferation of cyberattacks and online threats, it is essential to protect against these dangers and ensure the security of personal and sensitive information”, says Ingeborg Øfsthus, SVP & Chief Technology Officer in Telenor Nordics.
Fraudulent phone calls are a global problem, with scammers using a variety of tactics to trick individuals into giving away personal information or money. These calls often appear to be from legitimate organisations or government agencies and may use high-pressure tactics or false promises to convince the victim to comply.
In 2021, Telenor blocked more than 284 million fraudulent calls worldwide. So far this year, Telenor has blocked more than 200 million. However, according to the survey, 44 per cent of the individuals surveyed in the Nordics say that they have experienced fraudulent phone calls. The prevalence of fraudulent calls is highest in Norway, where 57 per cent of the respondents say they have experienced scam calls.
Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which a scammer poses as a legitimate institution and contacts a target or targets through email, telephone, or text message. The scammer attempts to lure the individual into providing sensitive information, such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. This information is then used to access the individual's accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.
According to the survey, a significant proportion of individuals in the Nordics have fallen victim to phishing attempts. The survey found that 57 per cent of respondents had received a phishing email at some point. Furthermore, when asked if the respondents had experienced investment fraud attempts, 30 per cent of the Nordic respondents confirmed that they had. These results highlight the need for increased awareness about phishing and the importance of being cautious when receiving unsolicited emails.
The survey also found that 44 per cent of the respondents across the Nordic say that they are concerned about fraud when shopping online. When asked if these concerns influence their decision to shop online, more than 80 per cent of the respondents across all Nordic markets said it did to a certain extent. More than 30 per cent said that it determined if they shop online to a large extent.
One of the key factors contributing to the high levels of concern in the Nordics is the region's advanced technological infrastructure. With a highly developed digital economy, the Nordics are particularly vulnerable to fraud attempts and cyberattacks.
To address these concerns, many individuals are taking advanced security measures, such as encryption and two-factor authentication. However, there is still a need for increased awareness and education about digital security.
Overall, the survey highlights the importance of digital security in the Nordics and the need for individuals to protect themselves from various fraud attempts.
“Digital security is no longer just an option; it is necessary for anyone using the internet. At Telenor, we see it as our task to enable the digital shift – not for the few, but for all. And we need to ensure that this is done in a safe way. That's why we are continuously strengthening Telenor's security capabilities across the Nordics, involving systems, processes, and people”, says Øfsthus.