Two thirds of Internet users hit by cybercrime: Norton

September 8, 2010

Computer security firm Symantec on Wednesday reported that about two thirds of the world's Internet users have fallen victim to cybercrime and few think crooks will be caught.

China was tops when it came to online victims, with 83 percent of there having been hit by computer viruses, identity theft, online or other crimes, according to a Norton Cybercrime Report.

Brazil and India were tied for second place with 76 percent, while the United States was next in line with 73 percent.

While victims admitted to feeling furious and cheated, they were reluctant to take action because they felt efforts would be futile, according to a study by consumer division Norton.

Reporting cybercrime is critical, because some times larger patterns can be pieced together by police fielding reports that, individually, appear minor.

"Cybercriminals purposely steal small amounts to remain undetected, but all of these add up," said Adam Palmer, Norton lead advisor.

"If you fail to report a loss, you may actually be helping the criminal stay under the radar."

A tendency by people to accept cybercrime was in part due to "learned helplessness," according to Joseph LaBrie, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University.

"It's like getting ripped off at a garage -- if you don't know enough about cars, you don't argue with the mechanic," LaBrie said. "People just accept a situation, even if it feels bad."

The study revealed some moral gray zones; nearly half of those interviewed thought it was legal to download a single digital CD or movie without paying.

Some 24 percent of those surveyed saw nothing wrong with secretly reading someone else's email messages or Web browsing history.

"People resist protecting themselves and their computers because they think it's too complicated," said Anne Collier, co-director of ConnectSafely.org, a US non-profit group that collaborated with Norton on the study.

"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."

Explore further: Naughty Norton: Symantec Fixes Flaw in Security Software

Related Stories

Distributed security

June 15, 2009

Could an entirely new approach to online security, based on distributed sanctions, help prevent cybercrime, fraud and identity theft? A report in the International Journal of Intercultural Information Management suggests ...

Symantec Announced New Norton 360 - All-In-One Security

February 27, 2007

Symantec Corp. today announced the availability of its newest product – Norton 360 - All-In-One Security. Norton 360 comprehensive solution combines Symantec's security and PC tune-up technologies with new automated backup ...

Banner year for cybercrime

December 27, 2006

This was a year for the record books for computer crime with 2007 likely even more dire, Wednesday's Washington Post reported.

Recommended for you

Electrode shape improves neurostimulation for small targets

April 24, 2018

A cross-like shape helps the electrodes of implantable neurostimulation devices to deliver more charge to specific areas of the nervous system, possibly prolonging device life span, says research published in March in Scientific ...

China auto show highlights industry's electric ambitions

April 22, 2018

The biggest global auto show of the year showcases China's ambitions to become a leader in electric cars and the industry's multibillion-dollar scramble to roll out models that appeal to price-conscious but demanding Chinese ...

Robot designed for faster, safer uranium plant pipe cleanup

April 21, 2018

Ohio crews cleaning up a massive former Cold War-era uranium enrichment plant in Ohio plan this summer to deploy a high-tech helper: an autonomous, radiation-measuring robot that will roll through miles of large overhead ...

How social networking sites may discriminate against women

April 20, 2018

Social media and the sharing economy have created new opportunities by leveraging online networks to build trust and remove marketplace barriers. But a growing body of research suggests that old gender and racial biases persist, ...

Virtually modelling the human brain in a computer

April 19, 2018

Neurons that remain active even after the triggering stimulus has been silenced form the basis of short-term memory. The brain uses rhythmically active neurons to combine larger groups of neurons into functional units. Until ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Ravenrant
1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2010
3 more cheers for hackers, right physorg posters?
trekgeek1
not rated yet Sep 08, 2010
3 more cheers for hackers, right physorg posters?


No. Strange, I wonder how many people know if they've been attacked. I've never had any problem despite using free antivirus software and only Windows firewall. I find it hard to believe that I'm lucky, and wonder if I have in fact been targeted.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.