Since we’re all Internet users, we thought you’d be interested in a recent report released by online security company Symantec, that warns we are all becoming more and more vulnerable to cybercrime attacks. The report found that global consumers lost $110 billion to cybercrime attacks over the last year — $21 billion of that came from the United States alone. On average, 18 individuals fall victim to cybercrime attacks every second, for a total of 1.5 million victims per day.
The survey also unveiled evidence to suggest cybercriminals may be setting their sights on more attacks via popular social media and mobile platforms. Within the mobile arena, victims seem to be falling prey to utilizing many free, but potentially unsecure WIFI networks. Location-based advertising technology company JiWire, reported that the amount of free public WIFI locations increased by 34.5% between the second quarters of 2011 and 2012. In the U.S., there are now over 114,000 free public WIFI locations; with the country ranking third behind the U.K. and South Korea.
Of those that took part in the Symantec survey, 24% reported that they had accessed online bank accounts through a potentially unsecure WIFI network and 31% had purchased an item through an online shopping portal, which could threaten their credit card accounts.
On the social media side, 4 out of 10 social media users had fallen victim to some kind of cybercrime on a social media platform and 1 out of 6 claimed that their accounts had been hacked.
What steps can you take to protect yourself?
* Be cautious of the websites and online venues that you visit through your mobile phone, especially if you are connected to a WIFI network you’re not familiar with.
* Don’t accept social media friend requests from people you don’t know or recognize.
* Messages sent via platforms like Facebook and Twitter can contain malicious links even though they may seem authentic. Just like with email, never click on a link unless you know where it will take you.
* Always log out of your social media and online accounts that require passwords.
Speaking of passwords, they are still the most effective way to protect yourself against a cyberattack. Complex passwords that are changed regularly can go a long way to keeping your digital life safe, and according to the Norton’s report, 40% of those interviewed don’t utilize complex passwords or change them on a regular basis.
The survey interviewed over 13,000 individuals between the ages of 18 and 64 from 24 countries.
Do you believe the threat of social media and mobile cyberattacks will continue to increase?