Uncover the discrepancies behind consumers’ perceived knowledge of cybercrime and their not-so-savvy online behaviors in the 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, an annual survey of more than 21,000 consumers globally.
Consumers’ Overconfidence Helped Hackers Up the Ante and Steal $172 Billion from Consumers in 20 Countries
Consumers are confident they’re safe online, but hackers have proven otherwise, stealing $172 billion from 978 million consumers in 20 countries. Consumers globally reported an average loss of $142 per victim and nearly 24 hours (or almost three full work days) dealing with the aftermath. In the United States, 143 million consumers were victims of cybercrime – more than half the U.S. adult online population.
Traits Shared by Cybercrime Victims
Globally, cybercrime victims share a similar profile. They are almost twice as likely to own a connected home device as non-victims, but have blind spots when it comes to cyber security basics. For example, cybercrime victims tend to use the same password across all online accounts diminishing the value of using a secure password. Yet even with these risky behaviors, 39 percent of cybercrime victims reported gaining trust in their ability to protect their data and personal information and 33 percent even believed they had a low risk1 of becoming a cybercrime victim.
1Respondents’ attribution of cybercrime risk is based on their personal beliefs and definition of cybercrime.
How Consumers are Skewing the Boundary Between Cybercrime and “Real Life”
81 percent of consumers globally think cybercrime should be treated as a criminal act. However, when pressed, contradictions emerged. More than one in five consumers globally (22%) believed that stealing information online was not as bad as stealing property in ‘real life.’ When presented with examples of morally questionable online behavior, 43 percent believed at least one type of cybercrime was sometimes acceptable, such as reading someone’s emails without their permission (26 percent), or accessing someone’s financial accounts without their permission (15%).
Who Do Consumers Trust to Protect their Personal Information and Data Online?
Consumers reported a general trust in the institutions that manage their personal data and information. However, not all institutions are trusted equally.
Consumers globally have gained or maintained the same level trust in organizations such as banks or financial institutions (82 percent) and identity theft protection service providers (76 percent) that manage their data and personal information. Alternatively, 41 percent of consumers reported losing trust in their government to manage their data and personal information. For cybercrime victims, 39 percent gained trust in their ability to manage their data and personal information.
Getting Back to Basics to Help Prevent Cybercrime
The realities of cybercrime can feel daunting, but following the below cyber security tips can help.
How We Define Cybercrime
The definition of cybercrime continues to evolve as avenues open up that allow cybercriminals to target consumers in new ways. Each year, we will evaluate current cybercrime trends and update the report’s methodology as needed, to ensure the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report provides an accurate snapshot of the impact of cybercrime as it stands today. In the Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, a cybercrime is defined as one or more of the events listed below. A cybercrime victim is a survey respondent who confirmed one or more of these events took place.