The Silent Epidemic: Cybercrime Strikes More Than Two-Thirds of Internet Users

Information Technology Press Releases Friday October 8, 2010 11:32
Bangkok--8 Oct--PC & Associates Consulting
New Norton Study of 7,000 Web Users Is First to Gauge Emotional Impact of Cybercrime; Victims Feel Ripped Off…and Pissed Off

The next time you surf the Internet, consider this: You might be just one click away from becoming the next cybercrime victim. A new study released today from security software maker Norton reveals the staggering prevalence of cybercrime: Two-thirds (65 percent) of Internet users globally have fallen victim to cybercrimes, including computer viruses, online credit card fraud and identity theft. As the most victimized nations, China comes in first (83 percent) followed by Brazil and India (tie 76 percent).

The Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact shines a light on the personal toll cybercrime takes. The first study to examine the emotional impact of cybercrime, it shows that victims’ strongest reactions are feeling angry (58 percent), annoyed (51 percent) and cheated (40 percent), and in many cases, they blame themselves for being attacked. Only 3 percent don’t think it will happen to them, and nearly 80 percent do not expect cybercriminals to be brought to justice— resulting in an ironic reluctance to take action and a sense of helplessness.

“We accept cybercrime because of a ‘learned helplessness’,” said Joseph LaBrie, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University. “It’s like getting ripped off at a garage – if you don’t know enough about cars, you don’t argue with the mechanic. People just accept a situation, even if it feels bad.”

Despite the emotional burden, the universal threat, and incidents of cybercrime, people still aren’t changing their behaviors - with only half (51 percent) of adults saying they would change their behavior if they became a victim. Even scarier, fewer than half (44 percent) reported the crime to the police.

Cybercrime victim Todd Vinson explained, “I was emotionally and financially unprepared because I never thought I would be a victim of such a crime. I felt violated, as if someone had actually come inside my home to gather this information, and as if my entire family was exposed to this criminal act. Now I can't help but wonder if other information has been illegally acquired and just sitting in the wrong people’s hands, waiting for an opportunity to be used.”

Solving cybercrime can be highly frustrating: According to the report, it takes an average of 28 days to resolve a cybercrime, and the average cost to resolve that crime is $334. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said the biggest hassle they faced when dealing with cybercrime was the time it took to solve.

But despite the hassle, reporting a cybercrime is critical. “We all pay for cybercrime, either directly or through pass-along costs from our financial institutions,” said Effendy Ibrahim, Internet safety advocate & consumer business head, Asia, Symantec. “Cybercriminals purposely steal small amounts to remain undetected, but all of these add up. If you fail to report a loss, you may actually be helping the criminal stay under the radar. Ultimately, the cost of resolving cybercrime is losing money and time – one way or another the victim is paying a ‘price’ and the impact is not just financial but emotional too.”

The “human impact” aspect of the report delves further into the little crimes or white lies consumers perpetrate against friends, family, loved ones and businesses. Nearly half of respondents think it’s legal to download a single music track, album or movie without paying. Twenty-four percent believe it’s legal or perfectly okay to secretly view someone else’s e-mails or browser history. Some of these behaviors, such as downloading files, open people up to additional security threats.

But there are simple steps people can take to protect themselves, according to the report. “People resist protecting themselves and their computers because they think it’s too complicated,” said Anne Collier, co-director of ConnectSafely.org and editor of NetFamilyNews.org, who collaborated with Norton on the study. “But everyone can take simple steps, such as having up-to-date, comprehensive security software in place. In the case of online crime, an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.”

The best defense against cybercrime, and the best way to protect yourself, is to surf the Internet with up-to-date, comprehensive security software such as Norton Internet Security 2011, which was launched today.

For more tips, and insights from this groundbreaking study, or to better understand the alarming extent of cybercrime, the feelings of powerlessness and lack of justice felt by its victims, please view the full Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact here.


Latest Press Release

Huawei#s Ken Hu: Digital inclusion Leaving no one behind

Huawei presses ahead with TECH4ALL to help another 500 million people benefit from digital technology in the next five years "Digital inclusion means using digital technology to promote inclusive development and leaving no person, home, or organization...

Innovative Technologies Presented at CE China 2019

Preparations for the upcoming CE China, a global IFA event, are gaining even more momentum with exhibitors announcing innovative technologies to be presented at the trade show from 19 to 21 September 2019 in Guangzhou. CE China is designed to be China's...

Huami Unveils The Amazfit X - A New Concept Product

The product launch event "Intelligent Movement" brought us Amazfit's new curved screen technology for its concept product the Amazfit X. Highlights: 1. Amazfit presents a new HD curved screen concept product. 2. Screen has 326ppi resolution and 100%...

Huawei announces computing strategy and releases Atlas 900, the world#s fastest AI training cluster

At HUAWEI CONNECT 2019, Huawei announced its strategy for the computing market and released Atlas 900, the world's fastest AI training cluster. A powerhouse of AI computing, Atlas 900 will help make AI more readily available for different fields of...

Data-Driven Intelligent Banking Boosts Inclusive Finance in Southeast Asia

Huawei has partnered with Chinasoft International (CSI) to release an Intelligent Financial Data Solution based on a converged data lake at HUAWEI CONNECT 2019. The solution is designed to help financial institutions in Southeast Asia and other markets...

Related Topics