1 in 10 US Households Reports Computer Crime

1 in 10 US Households Reports Computer Crime

By , Dec 17 in blog with 0 comments

 1 in 10 US Households Reports Computer CrimeSlightly more than one in 10 (11%) US households self-reported a computer or internet crime on their home computer in the past year, which represents a new high according to Gallup.

Computer Crime Rises 57% YOY

For the past several years, Gallup data shows self-reported US computer/internet crime rates holding a steady 6-8%, including 7% in 2009. However, this year’s 11% rate is a substantial 57% increase from the 2009 rate.

Computer Crime Third-most Reported

Of the nine types of crime Gallup asked Americans about in an October 7-10, 2010 survey, having money or property stolen received the highest mentions, at 16%, followed by having a home, car, or other property vandalized, at 14%. The trend for these has been fairly stable in recent years.

Computer/internet crime is the only other type of crime that registers in the double digits this year. However, the next-most common, identify theft, at 8%, is closely related by virtue of much of it occurring through hacking and fraudulent internet transactions. This is down slightly from the 10% who reported identity theft in 2009, the first year Gallup asked about this type of crime.

Fewer than 5% of Americans say that, over the past year, they or a household member was a victim in a home break-in, a car theft, a mugging or physical assault, a money or property theft by force, or a sexual assault.

Younger Americans Hit By Computer Crime More

 1 in 10 US Households Reports Computer Crime
The increase since 2009 in American households reporting computer- or Internet-based crimes comes mainly from Americans younger than age 55. Eighteen- to 34-year-olds are almost twice as likely to report these crimes as they were a year ago (11% compared to 6%), and 35- to 54-year-olds are also significantly more likely to do so (16% compared to 11%, a 45% increase). In contrast, the rate is virtually unchanged among those 55 and older.

In addition, while rates are similar by gender, the percentage of non-whites reporting computer/internet crimes (14%) is 40% higher than that of whites (10%), and has doubled in the past year. In contrast, the rate among whites has only risen 25%.

One-Third of Households Are Crime Victims

 1 in 10 US Households Reports Computer Crime
In the past year, a third of all U.S. households experienced at least one of the nine crimes Gallup measured, up slightly from previous years, and about 6% from 31% in 2009. When computer- or internet-based crimes (including identity theft) are excluded, the figure is similar to prior levels, at 26%.

Overall, 4% of Americans say they or a family member experienced some sort of violent crime, including a physical assault, mugging, or sexual assault.

Americans Tend to See Crime Increasing

In 2010, 66% of Americans view crime as increasing, and 17% say it is decreasing, according to other recent Gallup analysis which indicates Americans generally view crime as on the rise. Going back to 1989, 84% of Americans thought crime was increasing. This rate stayed above 80% until the mid-1990s, and then dipped to a recent low point of 43% in 2002, before shooting back up to 62% in 2003.

Sixty-six percent is still an improvement on recent figures. For example, 74% of Americans said crime was increasing in 2009, as did 67% in 2008 and 71% in 2007.


About the author

 1 in 10 US Households Reports Computer Crime Mike Andrew has been working with the Internet and small business for over 12 years. Mike has been a keynote speaker at conventions and seminars and conducted social media training sessions all over the world. Mike has an extensive media background having worked in electronic media for over 30 years. Mike specialises in social media and Internet marketing strategy, SEO techniques and search engine marketing campaigns. His articles appear on numerous blogs around the web as well as national magazines.

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