in-cyprusCalls to 1480 Helpline increased by 24% in 2020

Calls to 1480 Helpline increased by 24% in 2020

Calls to the 1480 Helpline have gone up by 24% compared to the corresponding period from last year where the number of calls was 304 to this year’s 377,with the majority of callers being adults at a rate of 99.30%, which amounts to 364 people.

Only 13 callers were minors, who reported having personal difficulties online.

Out of a total of 364 adults, only 29 callers contacted the service to address difficulties involving children and teens online.

The majority of adults (97.53%, 335 people) addressed requests regarding personal support needs.

63.40% of the callers were female and 36.60% were male.

Regarding the reasons for contacting the Line, most of the requests were related to cyber-crime incidents (35.81%), like hacking, financial fraud or identity theft through social media or email.

Reports of cyber fraud during this period saw an increase of 18.42% compared to the same period last year, and is in line with European reports stating an increase in cyber fraud during the pandemic.

In addition, a large number of calls to 1480 were related to cyber-bullying (13.26%), a rate that increased significantly compared to the same period last year.

It is worth noting that during this period there was a significant decrease in incidents of sexual blackmail/coercion aka “Sextortion”, compared to the respective periods of 2019 and 2018.

In particular, during the relevant periods 23 and 42 cases were reported respectively, while, during this year, there were only nine incidents.

At the same time, however, it is worrying to find that during this period, reports of online grooming have tripled, with adult strangers on social media encouraging minors to engage in sexually explicit activities.

In detail:

Cybercrime: 135 reports (35,81%)

Cyber-bullying: 50 reports (13,26%)

Technical assistance: 50 reports (13,26%)

Data Privacy: 44 reports (11,67%)

Internet reputation: 32 reports (8,49%)

Digital Literacy/Education: 24 reports (6,37%)

Advertising/Commersalisation: 10 reports (2,65%)

Sextortion: 9 reports (2,39%)

Grooming: 6 reports (1,59%)

Hate speech: 5 reports (1,33%)

Potentially harmful content: 5 reports (1,33%)

Sexual harassment: 4 reports (1,06%)

Sexting: 2 reports (0,53%)

Love/relationships/sexuality (online): 1 αναφορά (0,26%)

Source: Philenews

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