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