New Report Finds Americans Accessed 23 Malicious URLs per Minute in Q1 2018

The Southwestern region of the US saw the highest concentration of online scams during the first quarter of the year.

dfndr lab recently released its Q1 2018 Cybersecurity Report analyzing cybercrime trends for the first three months of this year.  According to the report, there were more than 3M malicious URLs detected between January and March, up 10% from 2.9M in Q4 2017. Americans accessed an average of 23 infected links per minute. Data analysis revealed that March saw the most online scams with 1.2M detections. January was close behind at 929K detections. February saw a dip between the first and third month of the quarter coming in at 849K detections. This trend was consistent in the regional breakdown as well as data for the top five states.

Detections by Regions

  1.    Southeast – 746K
  2.    West- 511K
  3.    Northeast – 478K
  4.    Midwest – 472K
  5.    Southwest – 363K

The Southeast saw the most cybercrime related to malicious URLs in Q1 2018 with more than 747K making up 29.0% detections. The Western region came in second with 512K detections making up 19.8% of those victimized by an online scam.  The Northeast narrowly beat out the Midwest with only a 2% difference. The Northeast made up 18.5% of detections and was only slightly higher with 478K detections compared to the Midwest’s 473K detections consisting of 18.3%. The Southwest region was the least affected with 363K detections, just 14.1% of cybercrime for the quarter.

Top Three States Detections

  1.    California – 327K (12.6%)
  2.    Texas – 279K (10.8%)
  3.    Florida – 203K (7.8%)

The top state for malicious link detections in Q1 2018 was California with 12.6%. The highest month was March 140.6K detections, followed by January with 97.7K and February 88.2K.  Texas came in second with 10.8% of detections. March had the most detections with 116K, followed by January with 83.3K and February with 79.5K. Florida made up 7.8% of detections with 79.5K in March, 66.5K in January, and 56.4K in February.

Staying Protected

1) The best method to protect yourself from becoming a victim of an online scam is to fact check information such as news, job opportunities, contests, and promotions before sharing it on social media. Remember, cybercriminals often create spoofed offers and websites from well known and trusted brands.

2) Always protect your mobile device with reputable security software. dfndr security provides features such as anti-phishing that alerts users to malicious links received through SMS, emails or messenger apps before you click them.

3) Finally, you can also use the dfndr lab page verification tool at to verify suspicious URLs.