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Norton: Cybercrime Cost $110 Billion Last Year

September 5, 2012
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Globally, $110 billion was lost to cybercrime attacks, including malware and phishing, according to this year’s Norton Cybercrime Report.

According to an article from Zero Day Net, this year’s release comprises more than 13,000 participants aged 18-64 across 24 countries, and it states that U.S. consumers alone lost $20.7 billion last year.

An estimated 71 million people in the U.S. became cybercrime victims last year, and 1.5 million people are impacted every day across the world – which is almost 18 people per second, the report says. The highest numbers of cybercrime victims were found in Russia (92 percent), China (84 percent) and South Africa (80 percent).

Globally, the report says, each victim accounts for an average of $197 in financial loss, but in the U.S., this increased to $290, according to the article.

An estimated 556 million adults across the world have first-hand experience of cybercrime, which equates to nearly half of all adults online (46 percent), which marks a slight increase from 2011’s figure of 45 percent, the article says.

Cybercrime trends are also growing in social networks and mobile technology – 21 percent have fallen prey to social or mobile crime. Specifically in social networking, the Norton report found that 15 percent of users have had their account infiltrated, and 1 in 10 have been victims of fake links or scams, the article reports.

Seventy-five percent of participants believed that cybercriminals were gearing more to social networks, but only 44 percent use security software to help protect against these threats. Only 49 percent, the article says, use privacy settings effectively to control the information they do share.

In addition:

  • 40 percent do not use complex passwords
  • More than a third of respondents aren’t concerned about typing sensitive information into an unsecure site
  • 44 percent use unsecure, public Wi-Fi to access email
  • 40 percent do not recognize how malware has evolved to subtly compromise a system, placing personal and corporate information at risk
  • 55 percent are unsure if their systems are currently clean

When using public connections:

  • 67 percent access email
  • 63 percent use social networking
  • 24 percent access their bank accounts

Email accounts are often a target for cybercriminals to try and access personal and corporate information, the study found. 27 percent of adults have been notified to change their email due to an account being compromised, and when 42 percent of respondents store work-related correspondence and documents on these accounts, businesses need to be aware that this is a security risk, the article says.

Victims of these attacks are more likely to be Millennials (75 percent) in comparison to Baby Boomers (56 percent), potentially due to their more frequent use of online services, the article says. 

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