Norton Cybercrime Report 2012: Where Does Canada Fit In?
Symantec, the makers of Norton security products, released its third annual 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report that showed that cybercrime is increasing in Canada to a cost of $1.4 billion with more than 46% of Canadians having fallen victim to cybercrime in the past year at a per capita cost of $169. The report was based on interviews with 13,018 online adults aged 18-64 based in 24 countries, including Canada.
Globally, the scale of consumer cybercrime is large at the rate of 556 million victims annually with a cost of US$110 billion, over 1.5 million victims daily, or 18 victims per second. Here is a fact sheet that summarizes the situation both in Canada and on a worldwide basis:
Canadians fared better on cybersecurity knowledge than the worldwide average on the following factors: understanding cybercrime’s risk and the need to protect oneself (21% to 28%), on not knowing that malware can operate behind the scenes on one’s computer (34% to 40%), and on the difficulty of knowing that a computer has been affected by malware unless it crashes or operates slowly (42% to 49%). Canadians were only marginally better than the worldwide average (38% to 40%) on not using complex passwords and changing their passwords on a regular basis. 15% of Canadian social network users admitted to not checking links before sharing them with others, compared to 20% on a worldwide basis.
Norton’s report also showed a pattern shift in cybercrime targeted towards mobile devices and use of social media. The report noted that 2 in 3 adults used mobile devices to access the internet and that mobile vulnerabilities doubled in 2011 from 2010. 31% of mobile users surveyed admitted that they received a text message from someone not known to them requesting them to click on an embedded link or dial an unknown number to obtain a voicemail. Additionally, 35% of adults surveyed said that they had lost their mobile device or had it stolen. In a further telling blow, two-thirds of mobile device users do not avail themselves of security options for their mobile device, while 44% were not even aware that security options for mobile devices existed.
The report also expressed concern over “risky behavior on potentially unsecure wi-fi” networks. On a worldwide basis, two-thirds of adults online used free public or unsecured wi-fi networks for internet access. 44% of online adults accessed personal email accounts through free or unsecured wi-fi connections. The report included other indicators of risky behavior, including the following:
The upside of this situation was that more than half (53%) of online adults expressed concern over the security of their internet connection.
Next time, we will take a look at what Symantec’s rival McAfee had to say in its “Threats Report” for the second quarter of 2012…
(See also: McAfee Threats Report for Second Quarter 2012)