Report: Cyber Crime Lowest in Denmark, US Ranks #3

John Lister's picture

The United States is the third safest country for cyber crimes according to a newly-published study. However, the methodology means that might not reflect the actual risk to users.

The figures come from Seon, a security company that specializes in automatically detecting online fraud. That makes the results (and the decision to publish them) a little surprising as such a company would have an obvious interest in suggesting cyber crime is a particularly big risk in larger, wealthier countries full of potential customers.

Overall the results showed Denmark as the safest country, just ahead of Germany and the United States. Bottom place went to Myanmar, followed by Cambodia and Honduras. (Source:

Money Laundering a Factor

The "Cyber-Safety Index" is largely a meta-study, combining data from four similar studies conducted by other groups. That can be useful by bringing together different perspectives, though it can magnify any biases.

The four studies covered cyber security measures in each country, for example by running through a checklist of measures such as having national cyber security agencies. (Source:

Another study looked along with the risk of terrorist financing and money laundering. The logic there was that such activity tends to thrive online and is a sign that officials don't have a tight grip on cyber security issues.

Legislation Gets Bonus Points

Seon then added its own measure that specifically covered how much cyber security legislation a country had passed (or was considering), with extra credit for covering a range of topics.

One big problem with that approach is that by definition a country which needs legislation against cyber crimes inherently has a problem with it. Indeed, passing multiple laws suggests either the initial laws were inadequate or that enforcement isn't up to scratch.

Another major problem with such studies is that cyber crime doesn't take much notice of national borders and the offenders and victims are often in different countries. For example, even if the US is doing a great job of combating cyber crime by its residents, American Internet users may still be prime targets for scammers based in less regulated countries.

This is most definitely the case when dealing with sextortion where the victims are in the USA and perpetrators are located in Ivory Coast Africa or Philippines, or technical support fraud where the perpetrators are located in India.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you think your country is particularly safe or unsafe for online crime? Is the amount of legislation a useful measure? How would you go about compiling such a ranking?

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (6 votes)