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Norton cybercrime report: Time to take back your Internet from cybercriminals!

Do you possess sound Internet etiquette? Are you careful while using social networking sites? Do you trust others and share your online details? How many of you think cybercrimes are ‘usual’ going to ‘critical’? Are you even aware of any cybercrime? Who would you turn to for help, if you were attacked online?

Norton from Symantec today released the Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact in India. It covers 14 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, covering 7,066 adults. This report tries to answer some (or most) of the questions above!

Norton collaborated with Anne Collier, independent expert advisor on Internet safety.

Effendy Ibrahim, Internet safety advocate and consumer business lead, Asia, highlighted the key points of yhe Norton Cybercrime Report. These include:

* A silent digital epidemic — of victims who feel powerless.
* People feel ripped off and pissed off — and lacking confidence that criminals will be brought to justice.
* Moral compasses not pointing true north — a grey area when it comes to online morals and ethics.
* People trying to protect themselves, but coming up short —  Common sense is not the best defence.

The silent epidemic

Cybercrime -- the silent epidemic!

Cybercrime -- the silent epidemic!

Globally, 65 percent of the people have fallen victim to cybercrime! However, nobody seems to be talking about it! In India, 76 percent have fallen victim to cybercrimals. Only 3 percent of the global poplulation do not expect to fall victim. In India, this number is only 8 percent!

Also, 79 percent globally do not expect cybercriminals to be brought to justice. And, 57 percent Indians do not expect cybercriminals to be brought to justice either! Not very encouraging figures!

Falling victim to cybercrime can leave people feeling angry, annoyed, frustrated, violated, cheated, upset, helpless, and so on and so forth. I’ve experienced this feeling, and it was definitely similar!

Some other interesting findings from Norton’s report. Indian adults feel highly responsible for phishing — 85 percent, online scams — 81 percent, and computer viruses/malware attacks — 88 percent. It seems that Indians practice bad Internet etiquette!

And, when in trouble, who do the victims contact in India? The survey says, 46 percent call their bank, 40 percent contact the website, and 37 percent call the police!

Around a quarter of victims take a DIY approach to sorting cybercrime. Unfortunately for them, the Norton experts say that the actions they are taking won’t necessarily help them, and may not even be safe.

For instance in India, 53 percent restrict the websites they visit. This only limits people’s enjoyment of the Internet. Security software, with a search advisor tool, will let you know if a site is safe.

Next, 38 percent get a family member or a friend to sort things out. Well, many threats go undetected by out-of-date or incomplete security solutions. So unless your friends are security experts, chances are that you will still be vulnerable. Finally, 32 percent try to identify the criminal and seek justice. This is not easy. Therefore, it is always advisable to work with law enforcement agencies, rather than go it alone.

Wasting time and money!
Remember, resolving a cybercrime involves using, and losing, time and money! Globally, resolving cybercrime takes 28 days on an average. The costs involved — $334 on an average!

India fares worse! It takes 44 days on an average to resolve a cybercrime, and the costs involved — $113.84. The corresponding figures for some other countries make interesting reading.

Canada — 17 days, $561.45; USA — 24 days, $127.87; Brazil — 43 days, $1,408.09; Sweden — 9 days, $177.66; France — 17 days, $141.60; Spain — 18 days, $527.78; UK — 25 days, $153.13, Italy — 36 days; $114.47; Germany — 58 days, $137.68; China — 23 days, $944.70; Australia — 29 days, $529.87; Japan — 32 days, $178.57!

That’s really a lot of time being taken across countries to resolve cybercrimes!

Are you behaving unethically online?
Let’s see the numbers for those tempted into unethical behavior! Norton’s report finds that globally, nearly half the population think that it is OK to steal music and movies online!

Well, 11 percent think that is cool to impersonate someone online. And, 12  percent think that it is OK to use someone else’s research — tell me about it!

Another, 12 percent feel that it is OK to browse someone else’s files and emails. Yikes! That’s horrible! Also, 5 percent even think that it is OK to hack into someone’s computer and sell their personal information online. Now that’s not nice!

Maybe, all of us need to be extremely careful about how we use the social networking sites, and be careful about all the information, photos, etc., that we are adding on to those sites, not to speak of with whom we share all of this information with, offline!

According to Norton, the right kind of security can keep cybercriminals away.

Norton from Symantec also released the Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security 2011, said to be the only suite to achieve a 100 percent protection score in a new third-party test from Dennis Labs.

Well, take a stand, folks! Everyone can contribute!! You could start by choosing a powerful security suite; and the safer you are, the safer others can be. Start talking about online security, and definitely report incidents to authorities.

Take back your Internet from cybercriminals. I’ll add more, time permitting!

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