A new survey of NordVPN users discovered that many people decide to use a VPN after being affected by cyber crime. Twenty percent of the respondents said they had fallen victim to cyber crime in the past. Predictably, these customers also tend to use a VPN more often.
“This data is not that surprising in 2019 when digital criminals are more active and creative than ever, but it’s still a huge number. No one likes to think about cyber crime until they are affected. But if it does happen, people start looking for ways to make sure it never happens again,” said Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communications at NordVPN.
Fifty-three percent of the respondents affected by cyber crime say they use a VPN daily or almost daily. The rate is five percent lower in the group unaffected by cyber crime in the past.
A total of 46% of NordVPN user claim they turn on a VPN when connecting to public Wi-Fi and another 46% use it when accessing sensitive and private content. This shows that the main reason for using a VPN is online security. “Our survey presents that 33% of users turn on VPN every time they connect to the internet,” added Gonzalez.
Some of the respondents shared harrowing stories of having their devices, email accounts, and other sensitive information hacked.
One respondent received an email claiming that a hacker had gained access to his email address and device. The message was backed up by including a victim’s email password. The hacker threatened the victim to publish all the compromising information from the device to his contacts. To avoid that, the victim had to pay $800 worth of Bitcoin to him. “I was not the only person who received an email like this. My password was sold on the dark web. I decided to get a VPN immediately,” explained the victim of online fraud.
Another respondent realized that his credit card statement was much higher than he was expecting. After he called the bank, he discovered a bunch of expensive purchases had been charged on his credit card in South Korea. These purchases cost him several thousand dollars.
“My bank reversed the charges and canceled the card. I was surprised that this had happened. It made me re-evaluate my stance regarding online security, and now all purchases are made through NordVPN, I urge others to do the same,” said the affected customer.
One more user told the story of how he found out that his computer had been hacked. He once tried to look up for important files on the computer and realized they were gone. “I was furious, but sure no one had access to my computer because I live alone. I got a file recovery application to check and found out the files were deleted a day before I noticed it. I then knew I had been hacked, and that was why my system was running slow,” added a NordVPN user.
The research was carried out on July 24th to 29th, 2019, with 7695 active NordVPN users randomly selected for the survey. Among them, 37.1% were from the US, 12.2% from the UK, ten percent from Canada, and the others were from various countries across the whole world. 89.9% of the respondents had been using NordVPN for a year or more.
NordVPN is expanding its scope to become an all-around cyber security solution. This year, the VPN service provider has announced two new security tools — NordPass and NordLocker — and a new business VPN solution NordVPN Teams.