According to the study, Iran ranked first in Asia and globally with 231 breached accounts per 100 users.

On a continental level, Asia has the second-lowest breached email address rates with 12 breached accounts in 2021, following Africa (4 emails per 100 users).

While Africa and Asia have the lowest breach rates worldwide, North America has the highest, with 1 in 2 internet users being breached in 2021. This number is three times higher than the global average. Oceania comes second with 2 out of 5 breached internet users.

"Looking at the data breaches landscape in 2021, we see that 71.7 per cent of the analysed countries have a lower breach density than the global average. It shows that hackers usually target particular countries such as Russia and the US more than others," says Agneska Sablovskaja, data researcher at Surfshark.

"However, 6 per cent of all analysed countries have an extremely high data breach density. To put this into perspective, more than half of internet users in countries such as the US, Iran, Israel, the UAE, and Qatar got breached in 2021."

Most common cybercrimes worldwide

Data breaches are not the one and only way for criminals to get access to victims' information.

According to Surfshark’s study, phishing continues to be the most common cybercrime for the second year in a row.

In 2020, there were 241,343 phishing victims. However, on average, phishing victims lost the least amount of money, some $136 per victim, while people who fell victim to investment fraud lost the most, some $70,811 per victim on average.

At the same time, investment fraud had the highest financial impact in total on its victims with people losing about $1.5 billion in 2021.

In 2021, the least impactful online crime was the Denial of Service (DoS) attacks – only around 1,000 victims reported this crime with an average loss of $197.

Malware and ransomware attacks are becoming more exclusive to businesses, claiming around 4,500 victims in 2021

“As the geopolitical tensions grow, we might see more cyber warfare and 0day spyware similar to Pegasus,” explains Aleksandr Valentij, security officer at Surfshark.

In total, cybercrime claimed at least 6,502,323 victims and $26 billion in losses over the 21-year period since 2001.

Witnessing this problem, Surfshark developed a data vulnerability thermometer that gives users their risk score, possible specific cybercrimes, and prevention tactics depending on the data points selected. It also contains descriptions, typology, tips, and statistics of 20 different internet crime offences aimed at individual users.