Have you ever received any e-mail requesting you to participate in a cybercrime survey? These surveys are instrumental in allowing government and private agencies tighten online security and to plug the loopholes present in existing security measures. The information collected in these surveys is also utilized by companies that make antivirus software, in order to improve their products.

Cybercrime surveys are carried out by various independent organizations. These are aimed at finding out how much the general population is aware about different types of cybercrimes and the prevention measures for those. These surveys are focused on almost every aspect of cybercrimes, including, but not limited to, spamming, hacking, information and identity theft, etc. The surveys also have questions designed to find out how many people actually meet (in person) people whom they chat with in online chat rooms. These surveys also aim to find out whether child pornography is being advertised through spam e-mails. A number of questions on these topics are compiled to form a questionnaire, which is then e-mailed to people who are above 18 years of age. The recipients are requested to fill up the questionnaire and e-mail it back to the organization carrying out the survey.

The questions can be of varying types, based on the country where the survey is being carried out, and the organization carrying out the survey. However, some common questions include:

  1. Have you ever gotten an e-mail that you were certain of being spam?
  2. If yes, what did you do about the spam e-mail?
  3. Have you met any person whom you encountered only in a chat room?
  4. Has your identity ever been stolen? Or, do you know anyone who has suffered from identity theft online?
  5. Has your PC ever been infected by a computer virus that damaged your PC components or stored data considerably?
  6. Have you ever received any e-mail that advertised child pornography?
  7. Do you feel like your PC has ever been hacked?
  8. Have you ever had any problem with any online merchant account?
  9. Do you feel like there is any other type of cybercrime that has not been covered in this questionnaire?
  10.  Do you feel like you are well protected against cybercrimes?

The cybercrime surveys are carried out anonymously, and never carry your personal details to the organization carrying out the survey. If you do get an e-mail requesting you to participate in a cybercrime survey, you should always do it. It will help in making the internet safer, for you and others.

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