Norton Says 71 Million Americans Are Victims Of Cybercrime

Despite improved safety measures, cybercrime is still an ever growing issue impacting people worldwide. According to a recent Norton Security report, 71 million Americans were victims of cybercrime last year alone. On the overall, cybercrime costs U.S. consumers some $20.7 billion.

Cybercrime involves attacks, malware and phishing. It impacts 1.5 million people worldwide a day, causing staggering costs. The Norton Cybercrime report reads that last year there were 71 million U.S. victims that were prey to online security breaches worth $20.7 billion.

Although online users are increasingly more protective of their personal data and companies have boosted security measures, cybercrime is thriving. As smartphones and tablets have grown in numbers, the Internet is now home to many “innocent” consumers, unwary of the risks and costs poor data protection involves.

The Norton Cybercrime report is a good enough proof. Worldwide there are 556 million adults that have fallen prey to cybercrime, each victim accounting for a financial damage worth $197 on average. While Russia has the highest number of cybercrime victims, the United States is where cybercrime costs more. An U.S. consumer’s average financial damage caused by cybercrime is $290.

The report on cybercrime reads that 75 percent of the participants in the study believe social networking is where online criminals will focus most of their damaging efforts. The report also found that last year, 15 percent of social networking accounts were infiltrated, while 1 in 10 had fallen prey to fake links or scams.

“Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast-growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks” explains Norton Internet Safety Advocate Marian Merritt. “This mirrors what we saw in this year’s Symantec Internet Security Threat Report which reported nearly twice the mobile vulnerabilities in 2011 from the year before” adds the Norton expert.

You’d think online users have became aware of poor security of their accounts, but the report showed 40 percent of them still have simple passwords locking their accounts. 44 percent said they usually check their emails using an unsecure, public Wi-Fi network while a whopping 55 percent is not certain whether or not their data is at risk of malware.

Norton says most likely victims of cybercrime are the 70 million members of Gen Y, with Baby Boomers following in closely.

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