Top 5 cybercrimes in the U.S., from the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report
Written by a NortonLifeLock employee
Cybercrime is on the rise in America, with more than 143 million Americans affected by cybercrime in 2017, according to the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report. Nearly 8 in 10 U.S. consumers surveyed reported themselves or someone they know being victimized,1 so it’s understandable that Americans are worried more about cybercrimes than other crimes.2
Try Norton 360 FREE 30-Day Trial* - Includes Norton Secure VPN
30 days of FREE* comprehensive antivirus, device security and online privacy with Norton Secure VPN.
Join today. Cancel anytime.
In its annual global survey of the cyber security landscape, the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report identified the top five common types of cybercrimes. Have you fallen victim to one? If so, you are not alone.
- Debit or credit card fraud
- Data breaches
- Compromised passwords
- Unauthorized email and social media access
In the U.S., 57 percent of people surveyed said they or someone they knew had a device (i.e., computer, tablet or smartphone) infected by a virus or other security threat. These malware-related cybercrimes could include having malware secretly downloaded to your computer when visiting a spoofed website or becoming the victim of ransomware.
Experiencing debit or credit card fraud was tied for the second most common type of cybercrime in the U.S., with 54 percent of people reporting they had been victimized. This type of cybercrime could include having your card number stolen if you enter it on a fake website or while on a public Wi-Fi network that a hacker is eavesdropping on.
Last year’s Equifax data breach, which affected more than 145 million people, may have raised awareness of identity theft for Americans. In the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, 54 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed reported having personal information involved in a data breach.
If enough of your personally identifiable information — such as Social Security number, birth date or home address — is now for sale on the Dark Web, cybercriminals could apply for credit cards in your name, rack up medical bills and ruin your credit.
Believe it or not, people do share passwords. Even if they aren’t shared, passwords aren’t always foolproof. Some 40 percent of Americans surveyed had their online account passwords compromised. Having a hard-to-guess, secure password is imperative if you use the Internet. If you practice poor habits, such as sharing passwords or using weak ones, you could become a target for a cybercriminal.
Some 40 percent of Norton Cyber Security Insights Report survey respondents in the U.S. encountered unauthorized access to or hacking of an email or social media account. This can happen if you forget to log out of an account on a shared device or someone maliciously hacks into your online account. Either way, having your email or social media account hacked could result in a cascade of cybercrimes, since it’s not unusual for these types of accounts to be linked to other online credentials.
Tips to help avoid cybercrime
- Malware: Install an Internet security suite on all your devices, including your PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.
- Debit or credit card fraud: Sign up for a credit monitoring service that can alert you to any unusual card activity.
- Data breaches: Sign up for an identity theft protection service that can monitor for and alert you to any suspicious activity, such as credit card applications using your personally identifiable information.
- Compromised passwords: Create strong, complicated passwords that are hard to crack. Use a combination of 10 numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and symbols — or consider using a password manager.
- Unauthorized email and social media access: The best defense for these types of accounts is also a strong password. Avoid the temptation to use the same password for each account, and then take the time to craft a super strong password. Remember, your email and social media accounts can be used as credentials to access your other accounts, so guard them carefully and never share.
To read the full Norton Cyber Security Insights Report 2017, visit https://us.norton.com/cyber-security-insights-2017.
Disclaimers and references:
For an explanation of how “cybercrime” was defined for the Norton Cyber Security Insights report, please read the “How we define cybercrime” section at https://us.norton.com/cyber-security-insights-2017.
1 “Norton Cyber Security Insights Report 2017,” January 2017. Based on an online survey of 1,003 U.S. consumers commissioned by Norton and produced by research firm Reputation Leaders.
2 Gallup Poll, “Cybercrime tops Americans’ crime worries,” November 6, 2017.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.
Copyright © 2022 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. NortonLifeLock, the NortonLifeLock Logo, the Checkmark Logo, Norton, LifeLock, and the LockMan Logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NortonLifeLock Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and other countries. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Microsoft and the Window logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.