Hackers Stole $172 Billion from 978 Million People in 2017

online privacy

According to a new report by cybersecurity firm Norton, as many as 978 million people from 20 countries lost money to cybercrime over the last year.

An overconfidence among online consumers has led to hackers raking in at least $172 billion in 2017, according to new research from Norton. In sharing the same passwords with multiple accounts, some 39% of global cybercrime victims have ‘gained trust in their ability’ to safeguard their data and personal information from future attacks while 33% believe they are at a low risk of becoming a cybercrime victim.

The most common cybercrimes experienced by consumers or someone they know include:

  • Having a device infected by a virus or other security threat (53%)
  • Experiencing debit or credit card fraud (38%)
  • Having an account password compromised (34%)
  • Encountering unauthorized access to or hacking of an email or social media account (34%)
  • Making a purchase online that turned out to be a scam (33%)
  • Clicking on a fraudulent email or providing sensitive (personal/financial) information in response to a fraudulent email (32%)

All of which has led to a staggering sum of losses suffered by online consumers over the past year. Globally, victims of cybercrime lost $172 billion, an average of $142 per victim. Further, each victim lost nearly 24 hours, of three working days’ time, in dealing with the aftermath.

 In the United States alone, some 143 million consumers were victims of online cybercrime. That’s over half of the entire US adult population that’s connected to the internet. Losses totaled $19.4 billion while each victim lost just under 20 hours in dealing with the aftermath of their losses.

“Despite a steady stream of cybercrime sprees reported by media, too many people appear to feel invincible and skip taking even basic precautions to protect themselves,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Consumer Business Unit, Symantec.

Although American consumers have predominantly embraced new cybersecurity safety measures like fingerprint ID, facial recognition, personal VPNs, two-factor authentication and more, they still practice poor password habits, allowing them to fall victims to cybercrime.

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