No Wonder There Are More Than One Million Victims Of Cyber Crime Daily

The worry about crime used to be if you had had your wallet stolen; or did you just leave it in a ‘safe place’ and have forgotten where that ‘safe place’ was?

You put your valuables in a safe with the local bank, or if you could afford it and wanted to take the risk, within the home.  In many ways this approach has changed over time and in others it has not.

We are still very trusting when it comes to matters financial but if the recent report from Norton is to be believed, perhaps we shouldn’t be so blasé.  They surveyed more than 13,000 online adults aged between 18 and 64, from 24 countries.

The results showed that Baby Boomers were less susceptible to cyber-crime than the later Millennials and the highest number of cyber-crime victims were to be found in Russia (85%), China (77%) and South Africa (73%).

Cyber crime victims were more likely to be male (64%) than female(58%) which is probably a reflection of testosterone-fuelled impulses!

With an estimated $US113 billion of cyber crime taking place over a year, the situation is likely to get worse, with the increasing move away from desktops to mobile devices.  The survey revealed that almost half of respondents leave security concerns behind when they hit the street. They don’t use basic precautions such as password protection, security software or any kind of backup of their important files.

Here’s another sobering revelation; 57% aren’t even aware that security solutions for mobile devices even exist.

No wonder then that there are more than one million victims of cyber crime daily. With the lines blurring between home personal life and work there are increased security concerns for business as well. One in five respondents admitted sharing work information with friends and family.  

36% reported that their company had no policy in place when it came to the use of mobile devices for work and 27% of all adults admitted they had lost their mobile phones or had them stolen.  So considering these results, how secure is your business data?

Other points of interest to those concerned with online security include:

  • 41% of online adults surveyed have been victims of hacking, malware, scams, viruses, fraud and theft in the past year
  • Half (50%) have been victims of either cyber crime and/or ‘negative situations’ over the same period.  This includes being bullied or stalked online, or receiving nude images from perfect strangers.

When it comes to social media people appear to be just as lax if not more so. 39% didn’t bother to log out after a social media session and a quarter actually share their social media log-in details and passwords with others. Somewhat surprisingly then considering the slack attitude portrayed, only 12% of the sample admitted that someone else had hacked into their social media account and pretended to be them.

We’ve grown very attached to our mobile devices but have largely forgotten the Internet security risks and the security protocols that we rigorously applied to our desk top systems.  

Given all of the above, perhaps it is now time to think far more seriously about how we can personally fight cyber crime by being more diligent; especially if we are wedded to our smartphone or tablet.

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is a retired international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region.
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