Norton has published its annual cybercrime report, and depending on where you live the news is either good or terrible.
While global cybercrime has declined – the number of adults who’ve experienced online fraud has gone down – the cost incurred in each incident has risen 50%. This is partly due to more people using mobile devices for both work and recreation. Norton’s statistics show that 49% of people use their handsets for both. But nearly half of those people also don’t take precautions such as using passwords or running anti-malware scanners, where applicable.
The report, which surveyed 13 022 adults in 24 countries, including South Africa. It lists three countries with the highest amount of cybercrime: Russia, China, and South Africa.
64% of the survey’s male respondents said that they had been affected, while only 58% of females had experienced online crime. More worrying percentages for victims include 63% of mobile device owners, 63% of social network users, and 68% of public Wi-Fi users. While 65% of parents with children between 8 and 17-years-old, as well as 68% of users in emerging markets were also more vulnerable.
While it’s not always about stolen bank details – cybercrime also includes identity theft and malware – there is still a financial impact. The global cybercrime industry is now estimated to cost $113-billion – nearly ten times what it cost to host the 2012 Olympics in London – and more than one million victims are affected each day. According to the data, the average victim is defrauded of $298 (nearly R3 000), per incident. In South Africa, the cost amounts to $300-million (around R3-billion), per year.
Locally, the concern should be growing use of mobile devices. The report shows that there are still companies that don’t have a policy for employees who use their own mobile devices for work use, and even those who have a work-supplied mobile device let their children have access to it.
While PC users score well when it comes to deleting suspicious emails, running anti-virus software, and not storing sensitive files offline, mobile users don’t. only 60% of tablet users actively filter their email, while a mere 56% of mobile phone users are careful about clicking links in suspicious emails. Only 42% of tablet users and 33% of mobile phone users bother with basic security software on their devices – though that can be attributed to very little awareness that such software exists.
It also shows that only 53% of tablet and 48% of mobile users avoid storing sensitive documents online. But, to be fair, many cloud storage services now come with their own security measures that allow for the same convenience of online backup without the disadvantages of having files snooped by hackers. Should your phone be stolen, you’d at least have an online backup rather than kissing your data goodbye.