IT | Security

Cybercrime Costs Consumers $110 Billion Annually

By: Absolute Team | 10/10/2012

According to research by Symantec for the 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report, the annual cost (direct financial costs and losses as a result of cybercrime incidents, such as fraud, theft, and repairs) of cybercrime is $110 billion. With 18 adults becoming a victim of cybercrime every second on a global level, or almost 46% of online adults annually, you probably know someone who has been a victim of cybercime - or maybe you've been a victim yourself.

The report, which assesses the experiences of 13,000 adults across 24 countries, places the average cost per victim of cybercrime at $197. The state of cybercrime has shifted slightly in 2012, placing more emphasis on social networks and mobile devices: 21% had been a victim of social or mobile cybercrime. Common crimes in these areas include someone hacking their profile, falling victim to a scam or fake link or receiving scam text messages.

Despite the increase in crime, the study revealed that not all security precautions are being attended to:

  • 49% use the privacy settings to control what information they share, and with whom
  • 40% don’t use complex passwords or change their passwords frequently
  • 40% do not know that malware can operate in a discreet fashion, making it hard to know if a computer has been compromised

So, what can you do? Here are some basic cybersecurity tips:

  1. Never access personal information on free WiFi connections (email, banking, social networking, shopping)
  2. Don't share personal information on sites without HTTPS at the beginning or the padlock icon on your browser
  3. Turn on privacy settings on your social networks (see here for how)
  4. Use a password manager to store all of your passwords
  5. Follow our tips on smartphone safety
  6. Don’t share personal information like full name, date of birth, home address, telephone number, or social insurance number
  7. Do not share your physical location online
  8. Be cautious in adding new applications to your phone or social media service to limit access to your profile / contacts / information
  9. Don’t accept friend requests for people you don’t know, even if they were ‘recommended’.
  10. Do not reply to bulk mailings
  11. Beware of contest scams
  12. Don’t leave your computer on when not in use; this leaves it open to attacks
  13. Keep your operating system and your software up-to-date on all data devices