OREANDA-NEWS. February 10, 2016. Almost half of all Germans (48 percent) have already been victims of Internet crime. Internet users of all ages are most frequently affected by viruses, Trojans or computer worms: 45 percent have already come into contact with malware. This is followed by phishing crimes, such as access data theft, with 8 percent, and identity theft, with 4 percent of people affected. These are the results of a current survey by TNS Emnid commissioned by Computerhilfe, the computer support service at Deutsche Telekom. During the "Safer Internet Day" on February 9, the opinion researchers surveyed 1,070 Internet users on how they deal with personal information on the Internet.

What many users have little awareness of – whether using the web for personal or business purposes – is that every click we make leaves a data footprint on the Internet. Whether it's online ordering, social networks or an online survey, personal data is always digitally exposed. The results of the survey show that sensitivity toward this varies widely.

For instance, 54 percent of those surveyed pass on their name online without any real concern; among 30 to 39 year olds, the figure is 60 percent; for those over 60, it's 42 percent. Much the same applies to how they handle their e-mail address: Half of those surveyed said they pass it on without a second thought, while the figure among 30 to 39 year olds is as high as 61 percent. The most careful age group is again the over 60s, with only 36 percent providing their e-mail address online without any second thought.

Awareness of data misuse with images
It's a different story when it comes to address, phone number and photos. Those surveyed are far more careful with this information. Only 29 percent have no problem about providing their address, and 21 percent enter their telephone number without any hesitation. The result is clear when it comes to photos: Only 13 percent of those surveyed are careless about passing on pictures. The "Selfie Generation" (aged 14 to 39) is more carefree: In this group, 19 percent specify that they post photos on the web without any hesitation, while the figure for the over 40s is just 8-10 percent.

Recommendations for protecting personal data
"As a rule, you should be very cautious when passing on personal information on the Internet," as Jochen Beck, expert at Deutsche Telekom's Computerhilfe, stresses. Otherwise, general security tips apply: "Software should always be up-to-date to close any security gaps in the browser, operating system or virus software. Internet users should make sure they use strong passwords, change them regularly and use them to protect Internet-enabled devices. Caution is advisable when downloading data and software; it should only be downloaded from trusted manufacturer websites," adds Beck. When using a Wi-Fi network, the latter should always be secured with the latest encryption standard. And finally, private photos and information should not be posted publicly on social networks.

And if something happens despite having taken precautions? The majority of Internet crime victims manage to take care of the problem themselves (56 percent), according to the study. However, this is only true for the younger Internet users: The majority of users over 50 specified that they could only solve the problem with external help.

The complete results of the TNS Emnid study and a press graphic on the main results are available in the Computerhilfe Press Room at www.telekom.com and at http://www.emediarelease.de/Computerhilfe.html.

About Computerhilfe:
Computerhilfe at Deutsche Telekom provides fast and expert help at a reasonable monthly rate. At the toll-free hotline 0800 330 1472, certified IT experts help users protect their computers and Internet-enabled devices against threats from the web. In critical cases, they can run a complete system check and remove the malware. If necessary, security updates will also be installed. The experts provide support over the phone and via secure remote access or additionally on site, depending on the service rate. The service is Microsoft and Apple certified and is offered in three cost-transparent packages: Computerhilfe S, M and L. Further information is available at www.telekom.de/computerhilfe.

About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies, with around 151 million mobile customers, 30 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of December 31, 2014). The Group provides fixed-network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers, and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries and has approximately 228,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of 62.7 billion euros in the 2014 financial year – more than 60 percent of it outside Germany.