Global consumer cybercrime costs $110b a year
Norton said the consumer cyber crime cost $701million to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
These revelations were made in the findings of its annual Norton Cybercrime Report, one of the world’s largest consumer cybercrime studies.
The study is aimed at understanding how cybercrime affects consumers, and how the adoption and evolution of new technologies impacts people’s security. With findings based on self-reported experiences of more than 13,000 adults across 24 countries, the 2012 edition of the Norton Cybercrime Report calculates the direct costs associated with global consumer cybercrime at $110 billion over the past twelve months. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it is estimated that more than 3.6 million people fell victim to cybercrime in the past twelve months, suffering $195 in direct financial losses.
Every second, 18 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than one-and-a-half million cybercrime victims each day on a global level. With losses totaling an average of $197 per victim across the world in direct financial costs, cybercrime costs consumers more than a week’s worth of nutritious food necessities for a family of four. In the past twelve months, an estimated 556 million adults across the world experienced cybercrime, more than the entire population of the European Union. This figure represents 46 percent of online adults who have been victims of cybercrime in the past twelve months, on par with the findings from 2011 (45 percent).
In KSA, 40% of the country’s social networking users have fallen victim to cybercrime on social networking platforms. Of the social networking users, 20% adults have been a victim of social or mobile cybercrime in the past twelve months in KSA compared to the 21% globally.
This year’s survey shows an increase in “new” forms of cybercrime compared to last year, such as those found on social networks or mobile devices – a sign that cybercriminals are starting to focus their efforts on these increasingly popular platforms. One in five online adults (21 percent) has been a victim of either social or mobile cybercrime, and 39 percent of social network users have been victims of social cybercrime.
“Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks,” Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate, said.
“This mirrors what we saw in this year’s Symantec Internet Security Threat Report which reported nearly twice the mobile vulnerabilities in 2011from the year before.”
The 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report also reveals that most Internet users take the basic steps to protect themselves and their personal information – such as deleting suspicious emails and being careful with their personal details online. However, other core precautions are being ignored: 40 percent don’t use complex passwords or change their passwords frequently and more than a third do not check for the padlock symbol in the browser before entering sensitive personal information, such as banking details, online.
In addition, this year’s report also indicates that many online adults are unaware as to how some of the most common forms of cybercrime have evolved over the years and thus have a difficult time recognizing how malware, such as viruses, act on their computer. In fact, 40 percent of adults do not know that malware can operate in a discreet fashion, making it hard to know if a computer has been compromised, and more than half (55 percent) are not certain that their computer is currently clean and free of viruses.
“Malware and viruses used to wreak obvious havoc on your computer,” Merritt added.
“You’d get a blue screen, or your computer would crash, alerting you to an infection. But cybercriminals’ methods have evolved; they want to avoid detection as long as possible. This year’s results show that nearly half of Internet users believe that unless their computer crashes or malfunctions, they’re not 100 percent sure they’ve fallen victim to such an attack.”
More than a quarter or 27 percent of online adults report having been notified to change their password for a compromised email account. With people sending, receiving, and storing everything from personal photos (50 percent) to work-related correspondence and documents (42 percent) to bank statements (22 percent) and passwords for other online accounts (17 percent), those email accounts can be a potential gateway for criminals looking for personal and corporate information.
“Personal email accounts often contain the keys to your online kingdom. Not only can criminals gain access to everything in your inbox, they can also reset your passwords for any other online site you may use by clicking the ‘forgot your password’ link, intercepting those emails and effectively locking you out of your own accounts,” Adam Palmer, Norton Lead Cyber security Advisor, said. “Protect your email accordingly by using complex passwords and changing them regularly.”
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