65% of Web Users Are Victims of Cybercrime

Nearly two thirds (65 percent) of web users across the world have been the victim of cybercrime, says Symantec.

Artwork: Diego Aguirre
According to the security firm's "Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact," 58 percent of victims of cybercrime, which includes viruses and online credit card fraud, feel angry, while 51 percent said they were annoyed and 40 percent admitted to feeling cheated.

Furthermore, 80 percent of web users don't believe the cybercriminals will be caught while only three percent believe they won't fall victim to crime online.

Just 51 percent of web users said they would change their online behavior if they became a cybercrime victim, while just 44 percent of those that have fallen victim reported the crime to the police.

Joseph LaBrie, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University, likened cybercrime to "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."

On average it takes 28 days to solve a cybercrime at a cost of around $334 (£218). More than a quarter (28 percent) of cybercrime victims said the time it took to solve was the biggest hassle resulting from the crime.

"We all pay for cybercrime, either directly or through pass-along costs from our financial institutions," said Adam Palmer, Norton's lead cyber security advisor.

"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."

The Norton Cybercrime Report also revealed nearly half of all web users think it's legal to download a single music track, album or movie without paying, while 34 percent admitted they thought it was ok to secretly view someone else's e-mails or browser history.

According to Anne Collier, co-director of ConnectSafely.org and editor of NetFamilyNews.org, who worked with Norton on the study, "people resist protecting themselves and their computers because they think it's too complicated."

"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," he said.

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  • See also: Scareware earns cybercriminals £850,000 a year

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