The Human Impact of Cybercrime

According to a recent survey by Norton, the top three victimized nations for cyber-crime in reverse order are America, China and Brazil/India. The Norton Cybercrime Report covers the human impact of crime and finds the victims have strong reactions such as feeling angry feeling angry (58%), annoyed (51%) and cheated (40%), and in many cases, they blame themselves for being attacked.

Surprisingly only 3% of victims think such crime can happen to them and 80% do not expect criminals engaging in internet fraud and related crimes to be apprehended and processed in the justice system.

“We accept cybercrime because of a ‘learned helplessness’,” said Joseph LaBrie, PhD, 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. People just accept a situation, even if it feels bad.”

Online behavior continues to be consistent and prone to victimization, the survey results show only 51% of adults would change their behavior after being a victim and only 44% would bother reporting the crime to the police. Cybercrime victim Todd Vinson of Chicago explained, “I was emotionally and financially unprepared because I never thought I would be a victim of such a crime. I felt violated, as if someone had actually come inside my home to gather this information, and as if my entire family was exposed to this criminal act. Now I can’t help but wonder if other information has been illegally acquired and just sitting in the wrong people’s hands, waiting for an opportunity to be used.”

Solving cybercrimes can be a game of frustration with an average of 28 days to resolve the issue and a cost of $334. 28% of respondents pointed out time to resolution as a big hassle when dealing with cyber-crime.

Here are some interesting responses on keeping safe online according to the respondents of the survey:

77% said they delete suspicious emails with attachments

67% said they have updated security software

63% said they avoid giving out personal information (credit card number, emails, etc)

56% said they review credit card statements frequently for fraudulent transactions

45% said they use different passwords for different sites

38% said they use complex passwords or change their passwords frequently

26% said they never use a debit card for online transactions

Survey Methodology:

The Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact 2010 is based on research conducted in February 2010 by StrategyOne, an independent market research firm, on behalf of Symantec Corporation. StrategyOne conducted an online survey among 7,066 adults aged 18 and over.

The survey was conducted in 14 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States). The survey was conducted in the primary language of each country. Questions asked were identical across all countries. Interviews were conducted between 2nd – 22nd February 2010. The margin of error for the total sample of adults (N=7,066) is + 1.16% at the 95% level of confidence.

For the purposes of the study, cybercrime is identified as computer viruses/malware, online credit card fraud, online hacking, online harassment, online identity theft, online scams (i.e., fraudulent lotteries/employment opportunities), online sexual predation, online phishing.

For the study, Norton and StrategyOne collaborated with Anne Collier, editor of and founder and executive director of its parent organization, Net Family News, Inc. Anne is a writer and journalist who has worked in the news media since 1980. She co-directs, a Web-based interactive forum and information site for teens, parents, educators, and everybody interested in the impact of the social Web on youth and vice versa. ConnectSafely is a project of Net Family News, Inc. Anne has just completed her work as co-chair of the Obama administration’s Online Safety & Technology Working Group and serves on the advisory boards of the London- and Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute and, a project of the Washington-based Internet Education Foundation. In 2008, she served on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Source: Norton

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