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Every four of 10 Indians have experienced identity theft, NortonLifeLock

Identify thefts have been on a rise and many Indians have been victims. Nearly four of 10 Indian adults (39%), surveyed by NortonLifeLock as part of their global annual Cyber Safety Insights Report, have been targets of identity theft at some point in their life, while 10% of them experienced it in last one year.

In terms of being a target of some form of cyber-attack, the numbers are a lot higher as 80% were victims of cyber-crimes, with 66% experiencing it in the last 12 months.

Identify theft is an unauthorised use of a person’s personal information including their names, Aadhar card number, phone number or photos to commit fraud.

According to the Norton report, 61% of participants feel they are protected against identify theft, but 63% didn’t know what to do after it. Around 79% felt they need more information on what to do in such cases.

The report reveals that men are more prone to identity thefts and cyber-attacks than women. About 44% of participants who had faced identify theft were men while 33% were women. Similarly, 84% victims of some form of cyber-crime were men compared with 76% women.

Compared with global peers, 81% Indians are more worried about their privacy. The global average is 67%.

“The report suggests Indian consumers are more concerned about the misuse of personal information, amongst those of other countries, it also reveals that they are complacent about sharing their data if they get something in return,” Ritesh Chopra, country director, NortonLifeLock, India said in a press statement.

Only 14% Indians read privacy policies in full.

Also, 52% of Indians didn’t mind companies selling their online search or shopping history to others to show them more relevant ads. Globally, only 25% participants had no issue with it.

Similarly, 66% Indians didn’t mind if their voice commands gathered by a tech company were made accessible to their employees to improve products and services. Globally, 34% participants had no issue with it.

Also, 57% Indians were more open to social media platforms using their photos or videos to help train their artificial intelligence algorithms. The global average of such users is 35%.

The report also found that 70% of Indians are aware of facial recognition and despite growing concerns about its misuse by government to spy on citizens, 76% support its use by law enforcement.

However, 58% feel the tech is likely to be misused in the next year and 48% feel it will do more harm than good as it could allow cyber-criminals to carry out more identify thefts. It explains why 83% feel that businesses and governments should inform citizens where or when they are using it.

The survey for the Norton report was carried out by The Harris Poll during 5 November – 2 December 2019. It interviewed 10,063 adults from 10 countries including India, US, Germany, UK, Australia and Japan.


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