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Cyber crime as big as the drugs trade

06 Aug 2012

Results published in the Norton CyberCrime 2011 report shows the cost and extent of online crime in the country – with a global bill reaching to US$388bn.

The survey, based across 24 different countries reports cybercrime victims to be as frequent as 14 every second, equating to over a million per day.

Comparasions to the report show cybercrime to hold a bigger global black market value than marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined ($288bn) and approaching the value of all global drugs trafficking ($411bn).

Standing at $388bn, cybercrime is more than 100 times the annual expenditure of UNICEF, affecting 431m adults per year.

Norton says cybercrime’s most common victims originate from emerging internet markets such as Brazil, India, China and South Africa, with attacks statistically less likely to occur among Americans, Brits, Australians and Kiwis.

Causes of such attacks stem from out-of-date security software according to the study, with 4 in 10 adults not possessing the correct protection for their personal information online.

High level internet users as well as online users who are young, male or from an emerging market appear the most likely victims – with Norton advising a full security suite to combat the problem.

“Some people tend to believe bad things won’t ever happen to them,” says Joseph LaBrie, PhD, associate professor, Psychology & Director, Heads UP, Loyola Marymount University, U.S.

“So they are willing to accept an unhealthy amount of risk both online and offline.

“In contract to these ‘cyberdaredevils’, there are other personality types that lend themselves to the victimisation.

“These people lack empowerment skills, online and offline, and could benefit greatly from crime prevention education and enhanced security systems.”

Are you lax with internet security? Have you been a victim of cyber crime? Tell us your thoughts below.

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