Symantec: Cybercrime costs $114 billion a year

Norton Cybercrime 2011 $388 bln

Symantec has released its Norton CyberCrime Report for 2011, and if you thought business was good for smartphone and mobile device makers…well, business appears to be good for cybercriminals too. According to Symantec, some 431 million adults worldwide were victims of cybercrime in the last year, with the total cost of those crimes amounting to some $114 billion. And when Symantec figures in the value of the time victims lost to that crime, the cost goes up another $274 billion to $388 billion. If those figures hold water, it potentially makes the the cost of online crime worldwide larger than the global trade in heroin, marijuana, and cocaine combined.

“There is a serious disconnect in how people view the threat of cybercrime,” said Norton lead cybersecurity advisor Adam Palmer, in a statement. “Over the past 12 months, three times as many adults surveyed have suffered from online crime versus offline crime, yet less than a third of respondents think they are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime than physical world crime in the next year.”

According to the report, over two thirds of online adults say they have been a victim of cybercrime in their lifetimes—and Symantec reports that 10 percent of adults say they have been victims of online crime on their mobile phones.

Norton Cybercrime 2011 number of victims

Illustrating the disconnect between users’ awareness of cybercrime and what they do about it, Symantec says that 74 percent of respondents in its survey said they were always aware of cybercrime, but 41 percent of respondents don’t use an up-to-date security package to protect their personal information. The rate is even worse amongst mobile users: Symantec found just 16 percent use up-to-date mobile security products.

Further, Symantec found that less than half its respondents reviewed their credit card statements regularly for fraudulent activity, and a whopping 61 percent either don’t use complex passwords or change them regularly.

Of course, some of Symantec’s assessment of respondents security habits is self-serving: the company develops Norton Antivirus and other security software, and the survey doesn’t say whether it takes into account users on Mac OS X and other platforms that, to date, haven’t experienced anywhere near the level of malware and security threats to which Windows users are subjected, and hence have a far lower real-world need for up-to-date security software.

And who are the most likely victims of cybercrime? According to Symantec, it’s men aged 18 to 31 who access the Internet from their phone.

Symantec’s survey covered over 12,700 adults in 24 countries, and was conducted in February and March 2011.

Emerging Tech

Singapore uses its smart city tech to help citizens cut through the red tape

Like many governments, Singapore’s puts citizens through plenty of red tape. But as part of its smart-city initiatives, the government is using tech to remove layers of bureaucracy.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Mobile

Samsung teases it will reveal its foldable phone during the Galaxy S10 event

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Computing

Switch your WMA files for MP3s with our quick conversion tips

The WMA codec may be great when it comes to multi-channel surround sound, but unfortunately, it falters in terms of compatibility. Check out our guide on how to convert WMA files to MP3 via web-based or desktop methods.
Computing

Looking for a new laptop? These 5 notebooks are on sale through Presidents’ Day

If you're ready to ditch your aging notebook, you can score some fantastic Presidents' Day savings right now on Microsoft's Surface Pro 6, Dell's XPS 13, HP's Spectre x360, Lenovo's Yoga C930, and Dell's G5 15 Gaming laptops.
Computing

Windows is getting a face-lift in 2020, but you can get a sneak peek right now

Microsoft is increasing the lead time for an upcoming major update to Windows 10, giving Windows Insiders the ability to test it right now, even though it's not set for release until 2020.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Computing

These Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will take your skills to a new level

Windows 10 has many new features, and they come flanked with useful new keyboard shortcuts. Check out some of the new Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts to improve your user experience and save more time!
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-powered website creates freakishly lifelike faces of people who don’t exist

No, this isn't a picture of a missing person. It's a face generated by a new artificial intelligence on the website ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com. Here's how the impressive A.I. works.
Deals

The best Presidents’ Day sales 2019: Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and more

Presidents' Day sales are a great chance to score electronics, clothing, home and office stuff, and other goodies at a discount. We’ve smoked out a large handful of the best of these Presidents' Day deals, from tech to bedding, to help…
Deals

Keep your MacBook safe and dry with an Under Armour backpack for under $50

Under Armour is having a huge sale this weekend to help you on your quest for a better backpack. The UA Outlet Exclusive sale is going on now through Monday, February 18th, offering great discounts on stormproof backpacks.
Deals

Walmart Presidents’ Day sale: Instant Pot, Google Home, and 4K TV deals

Presidents' Day weekend is one of the best times of the year to find deep discounts on 4K TVs, laptops, Instant Pots, clothes, mattresses, and furniture. And Walmart is offering deals on all of those things and more.