Cybercrime Up By 10% from 2015

The annual Norton Cyber Security Insights Report from Norton by Symantec provides insights into cybercrimes affecting individual consumers. According to the report, 689 million people from 21 countries across the world, were victims of cybercrimes in 2016. This number is up by 10% compared to 2015.

“Our findings show that people are growing increasingly aware of the need to protect their personal information online, but aren’t motivated to take adequate precautions to stay safe,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Norton Business Unit, Symantec. “While consumers remain complacent, hackers are refining their skills and adapting their scams to further take advantage of people, making the need for consumers to take some action increasingly important.”

Password

The most shocking finding was that people who were already victims of cybercrimes during the past one year, did not learn from their past mistakes and continued with the some of their same unsafe behavior.

  • While people were having different passwords, they were twice as likely to share it with others, rendering the password unsafe.
  • More than three-fourths of the respondents knew that they should actively protect their information when online. In Canada, 80% knew this. But, they were also engaging in risky behaviors and also sharing their passwords.

Connected devices

Globally, 35% of people (40% in Canada) have at least one device which is unprotected. Because of poor security habits of consumers, other devices in their homes become vulnerable to malicious websites, zero days, ransomware and phishing attacks. The report has found that

  • About 20% of the home devices are unprotected.
  • About 36% do not think that the number of connected devices in their homes are enough for them to be worthwhile targets for hacking. But, the report cautions that the hackers will find ways and means to benefit from connected home devices in the same way as they benefited from targeting financial accounts and social media.
  • About 57% trust that their connected devices are designed for online security. But Symantec researchers have found many security vulnerabilities in more than 50 connected home devices from smart hubs to thermostats.

Given all this, consumers still find it hard to break from the bad habits and are still complacent about protecting their personal information when they are online.

  • The complacency is very high among the millennials and 45% of them have no problems sharing passwords even after 32% of them have already experienced cybercrime in 2016.
  • About 25% respondents are not able to detect a phishing attack and about 15% have to guess between a phishing message and a real one showing that there are still many people who are unwittingly clicking links sent by unknown senders.

But, people’s perception about the inherent risks of cybercrime is changing with time. They are now able to equate the dangers of cybercrime with the real world.

  • Accessing or entering financial information when connected to public Wi-Fi is considered more riskier than loudly disclosing credit/ debit card number by 60% of the respondents.
  • The chances of children being bullied online are considered to be more than the chances of being bullied in a playground by 54% of the parents.

Canada

About 8.5 million people were victims of online cybercrimes in 2016 from Canada, compared to 7 million in 2015. About $1.9 billion have been lost by Canadians to cybercrime in 2016 compared to $1.5 billion in 2015.

About 54% Canadians believe that it is becoming harder for them to stay safe when online, compared to the real world. But 54% of the Canadian respondents do not use a VPN for connecting to a Wi-Fi. This makes it easier for hackers to steal data.

The report found that 45% of the Canadian victims were more concerned about the home Wi-Fi security, but still 17% of them did not put a password to protect it. Comparatively, the about 40% of the non-victims were more concerned about the home Wi-Fi security, but only 11% of them did not put a password to protect it.

The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report surveyed 20,907 device users across 21 countries. Out of these 1002 were from Canada.