According to Marian Merritt, security provider Symantec’s Internet Safety Advocate, a cyber crime goes down every ¼ of a second – a pretty startling statistic. What makes this statistic so astonishing is, unless you are in the Internet security business, you are probably unaware of this.
More stats that shock:
One in four consumers is a cybercrime victim.
An identity is stolen every three seconds online.
Nearly 10 million people have reported identity theft in the U.S. alone, in the last 12 months.
Global cybercrime revenues exceed that of the international drug trade.
A stolen identity can be bought on the Internet for as little as $100.
Stolen credit card numbers may sell for as little as $2 to $25.
Zombie computers are the main source of online fraud, spam and other scams on the internet.
If you were unaware of these statistics don’t be surprised, or chagrined. There’s a surprisingly simply reason why you may not have known – the lack of responsible reporting by mainstream media.
IT media do a highly credible job of keeping IT professionals like me, in the loop on cybercrime issues. But CNN and the rest of the mainstream media, do a pathetic job when it comes to informing the general public on these critical consumer safety issues. I suspect these issues are just not sexy enough; not violent enough.
Symantec’s Merritt made this point clear when she stated, “You turn on the news and they are talking about capturing drug dealers ……….., but they rarely show a hacker in handcuffs”.
By now you’re probably looking at the title of this article and asking yourself – where’s Bill going with this? When is he going to tell me how much I’m worth to a cybercriminal?
Well, here’s one answer. According to a recent report Get Safe Online, partially funded by the British government, the average surfer is worth $25,000 to the cybercriminal community.
But there’s a better way than just relying on this statistic. You can figure out what you’re worth to a cybercriminal, right to the penny. Well, sort of.
The free Norton Online Risk Calculator, recently released by Symantec, will help you evaluate how valuable you are to the cybercriminal economy. The calculator is easy to use, and bases its assessment on a number of simple questions concerning your net usage.
Please consider taking this test. If you are aware of just how much value you have as a victim, I’m sure you will take all the appropriate steps to ensure you don’t become a victim.
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