There are roughly eight billion people living on the planet and over five billion of them have access to the internet.
In other words, the planet really is getting smaller.
With so many people online it has become inevitable that cybercrime has increased.
There is simply too much data and too many possibilities for criminals to resist trying to steal it.
Add to this the proliferation of apps and tools which make hacking accessible, even to this without computer programming knowledge, and hacking becomes inevitable.
What may surprise you is the facts regarding how many people get hacked a year.
It’s actually impossible to calculate how many people get hacked every year.
However, there are plenty of clues that can help accurately predict the answer:
- A cyber attack happens once every 39 seconds
- 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked daily
- In the first three months of 2022 hackers accessed over 18 million records
- 4.1 billion records were stolen during the first half of 2019
- 64% of businesses record a hacking attack each year
- 1 in 3 home computers have malware
- 65% of americans have received online spam
- 47% of US adults have experienced data loss & subsequent exposure
- 95% of successful cyber attacks are due to human error
How Many People Get Hacked A Year?
1. A Cyber Attack Happens Once Every 39 Seconds
Cyber attacks are often launched via email, phishing is a particularly common approach.
In some cases the attack is simply looking for weak passwords, in others hackers scour the net looking for social information to help them launch an attack on your passwords
Of course, some simply use programming skills to find weaknesses in systems and let themselves in.
Whatever the approach, statistics show that an attack is launched every 39 seconds.
Not all are successful, but the sheer number of attacks favors the hacker.
2. 600,000 Facebook Accounts Are Hacked Daily
Facebook is one of the most popular social media sites with nearly 3 billion users.
Unfortunately, that makes it an obvious target for hackers.
While Facebook has excellent security measures, individuals don’t always take the same precautions with passwords.
In short, Facebook records show, on average, 600,000 accounts are hacked daily!
3. In The First Three Months Of 2022 Hackers Accessed Over 18 Million Records
What is perhaps most concerning about this figure is that the figure was roughly half of the number that were breached in the last quarter of 2021.
Interestingly, Russian users had the highest increase in breaches at 11%.
Poland also saw a large increase, as did South Korea, Taiwan, and even Hong Kong.
The US actually saw less breaches in this quarter!
4. 4.1 Billion Records Were Stolen During The First Half Of 2019
A security survey showed that there were 3,800 disclosed breaches in the first half of 2019.
The breaches resulted in a loss of over 4 billion records.
It’s worth noting that 3.2 billion records were the result of just 8 breaches, making the rest of the breaches appear minor.
The most commonly stolen data was email addresses and passwords.
While the amount of records lost in just eight breaches is alarming.
Most of the rest of the breaches were small-scale, targeting small businesses.
That’s often the case because small businesses don’t have the same level of security as larger ones.
(QuickView Data report)
5. 64% Of Businesses Record A Hacking Attack Each Year
Statistics show that 64% of businesses experience a hacking attack within the last year.
Many businesses experienced more than one cyber attack and, in roughly 50% of cases, the attack was successful.
Businesses are still the primary target for hackers and there has been a significant increase in the number of attacks over the past few years.
Naturally, the greater the number of attacks the more likely a breach will happen.
6. 1 In 3 Home Computers Have Malware
It can be downloaded onto any device simply by clicking on a link.
You generally don’t realize there is a hidden file and it won’t be instantly visible when downloaded.
Once the malware is in your system it can disrupt your computer processes, or it may record your data input, allowing the hacker access to your personal information, including usernames and passwords.
The Microsoft survey showed that one in three home computers have malware. That means, if you own three computers, one of them is probably infected.
7. 65% Of Americans Have Received Online Spam
While businesses remain the primary target for hackers, individuals are increasingly being targeted. The gains are smaller but the rewards can still be significant.
It’s also generally very easy to send emails to hundreds of people and hope to get a response from one or two.
The most common approach is to send an email asking you to check your account as there has been an issue with it.
You may also get emails telling you you’ve won a competition or similar.
Most Americans will have received something, the AARP survey shows that 65% of people have received online spam.
The question is how many have fallen for the spam offer?
8. 47% Of US Adults Have Experienced Data Loss & Subsequent Exposure
You may be surprised to learn that nearly half the population has had some personal data stolen in an account, the data has subsequently been released, potentially causing embarrassment or financial loss.
Not all data losses are due to personal devices being hacked, but some are.
(Norton Cyber Security)
9. 95% Of Successful Cyber Attacks Are Due To Human Error
In 95% of cases, human error has allowed a hacker access.
This is often through clicking a link in a phishing email or by downloading files without first checking them.
This activity can happen because people are busy or distracted.
The truth is simply paying more attention could wipe out the majority of successful cyber attacks.
A simple error of judgment can cause you and your colleagues a big headache, take an extra moment before clicking any links.
The good news is security is improving and people are becoming more aware of the issues.
Just take a look at this breakdown of private data hacks in the US between 2017 and 2022:
|Number Of Data Breaches
|Number Of People Who Lost Data
Understanding The Types Of Hackers
Hackers are generally broken down into different types depending on what approach they use and the skill level they have.
These types of hackers are experts dedicated to improving security on various software systems.
They work with businesses to find weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and security flaws, and then fix them.
These are the opposite types of hackers.
Their main intent is to infiltrate a system and steal data. Ultimately they are after a financial reward.
Black hat hackers will use any tools at their disposal.
Gray hat hackers are looking for weaknesses in systems.
They don’t generally locate weaknesses in order to steal data or anything else from the business.
Instead, they tell the business it has an issue and that they can’t fix it.
Of course, they will charge a fee to do so.
Cybersecurity & The Future
The number of cyberattacks is increasing.
Thankfully, better awareness and security are making it harder for hackers to successfully steal data.
But that doesn’t mean this will always be the case. It’s important to look at the context.
For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic millions of people moved to working from home.
Security was more relaxed and this resulted in a 400% increase in cyber attacks.
The number of attacks has reduced but it is still elevated compared to pre-Covid levels.
To combat the increased level and sophistication of attacks it’s estimated businesses will need to spend more on cybersecurity each year.
The industry is expected to grow 15% a year. By 2025 cybersecurity will cost businesses $10.5 trillion!
Protecting Your Data
Businesses and individuals need to take steps to protect their data.
There are several things you can do:
Invest In Reputable Security
This has to be the first thing every business does, regardless of their size.
You need to choose a reputable antivirus and antimalware software, install it, and make sure it is regularly updated.
The next step is to strengthen all your passwords.
A strong password consists of random characters, is at least 12 characters long, and uses lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
The best approach is to use an online generator to create the passwords and a password manager to store them.
This means all passwords will be encrypted and you only need to remember one, that gives you access to all the others.
Humans are the biggest weakness of any security system.
It’s essential to educate staff and yourself.
Never click a link unless you are certain it can be trusted.
Always type a site name in yourself, and never give out your passwords or other security information.
What’s the Most Common Hacking Attack?
The most common approach is for hackers to send a phishing email.
For them it’s low cost and takes very little time.
They send the phishing email in sufficient numbers that at least one person will respond.
To avoid being hacked, be very cautious with emails when you don’t know the sender.
Be especially cautious when there are links to click on.
How Is Social Engineering Relevant?
Social engineering is when hackers search the internet, specifically social media profiles and freely available data, to find out as much as they can about you.
This can help them work out your password or launch a personalized phishing email, which you are more likely to fall for.
You can reduce the effectiveness of this approach by considering carefully what personal information you add online.
Can I Remove Personal Information?
Your personal online profile started the moment you logged online and has been building ever since.
You may be surprised by how many millions of pages of information data brokers have on you.
The good news is you can request the data broker remove your data from their system.
The bad news is you have to send a personal request to every broker.
The simplest way to achieve this is to use a data removal service.
You give them partial power of attorney and they will take care of everything for you.
When considering how many people get hacked a year you need to remember hackers play a percentage game.
If they attempt 100 hacks they are going to get lucky with between 3-10 of them.
The actual number of hacking attacks depends on whether you count all attacks together or differentiate between hacking, phishing, and malware.
Whichever way you look at it, billions of records are taken by hackers every year.
You can take steps to protect yourself and reduce their chances of success, especially as you understand how they are most likely to attack.
The sooner you take those steps the less likely you are to become a victim.