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Norton Cybercrime Report 2010:Human ImpactA groundbreaking global study exposing the alarming extent of cybercrime and the feelings of powerlessness and lack of justice felt by its victims. At Norton, we believe it is our job to monitor these trends in people’s online behavior to:. Expose the reality that cybercrime is real crime that is happening to all of us.. Educate people about their exposure to online risks.. Offer advice and solutions for how they can help to keep themselves safe online.Cybercrime is far more common than many people realize and someone you know has most likely been affected by it. The Norton Cybercrime Human Impact Report provides a unique perspective -- not previously studied on a global basis – of the emotional impact the increase in global cybercrime has on people today and how it affects their usage of the Internet. ________________________The Report:Exposed the alarming extent of cybercrime and the feelings of powerlessness.Revealed the lack of justice felt by victims worldwide.Identified intense emotions towards cybercriminals.Uncovered the often flawed actions people take to prevent and resolve cybercrime.Nailed down the true cost of cybercrime while raising questions about people’s own online ethics and behavior.
The Norton Cybercrime Report (NCR) is a major global study conducted for Symantec by StrategyOne, an independent market research firm in February 2010.The NCR is one of the largest studies of its kind.The study included more than 7,000 adults from 14 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA. The study follows on from the 2008 and 2009 Norton Online Living Report which examined children’s online behavior and activities and adults/parents’ understanding and perceptions of these. This year, we decided to place a major focus on identifying the prevalence of cybercrime amongst adults worldwide, and its human impact on victims. For this study, we collaborated with Anne Collier, Editor of NetFamilyNews.org and founder and executive director of its parent organization, Net Family News, Inc, a well known online safety organisation based in the US.Anne currently serves as co-chair of the Obama administration's Online Safety & Technology Working Group and on the advisory boards of the London- and Washington-based Family Online Safety Institute and GetNetWise.org, a project of the Washington-based Internet Education FoundationIn 2008, she served on the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, formed by 49 US state attorneys general and Fox Interactive/MySpace and based at Harvard University's BerkmanCenter for Internet & Society. She also works in close association with London-based Childnet International.Anne is a writer and journalist who has worked in the news media since 1980. Anne holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Principia College and the University of Chicago respectively.
Four clear themes emerged from the data the report produced. All of them are related to the human impact of cybercrime, but even we were shocked by the fact that 65% of adults worldwide have been a victim and that we are clearly in the midst of a SILENT digital epidemic.This epidemic, our report reveals, is the result of the silent majority of people who feel powerless against cybercrime – only 3% don’t think it will happen to them!Our Report gave the people the opportunity to have a voice and the people have finally spoken . They are feeling ripped off and pissed off – but they are completely lost as to what to do next because they believe that criminals will not be brought to justice.We are also seeing that there is a large grey area when it comes to morals and ethics – it seems there is confusion about what it legal and illegal, moral and immoral.And perhaps most importantly, the study has shown us where people are coming up short in protecting themselves against cybercrime. We are now able to have a clear view of what people are doing right and wrong and how we can better help them.
Let’s examine the first theme, where we found the statistics communicating that there is a “silent digital epidemic”
This is the first study that has been able to quantify the extent and impact of cybercrime on people around the world. This report reveals that nearly 2/3rds of adults globally have been a victim of some kind of cybercrime including scams , credit card fraud , identity theft , phishing and even social network hacking. But nobody is talking about it. While it may not have happened to you, it will have happened to someone you know and it’s time to take a stand to stamp it out. It’s clear that if 65% of the people who walked down a particular street in Sydney, New York or Paris were mugged, not only would we talk about it, we would all do something about it. Cybercrime hotspots include:China 83% }Brazil/India 76% } of adults have experienced cybercrime USA 73% } Cybercrimes experienced globallyComputer viruses/malware 51%Online scams 10%Phishing 9%Social network profile hacking 7%Online Credit card fraud 7%Sexual predation 7%NOTE:For the purposes of the Norton Cybercrime Report, we defined cybercrime as: Computer viruses and Malware (e.g. Trojans and worms)PhishingOnline HarassmentOnline Sexual PredatorsOnline scams (e.g. Pyramid/Ponzi schemes, fraudulent lotteries/employment opportunities/promises of debt elimination)Credit Card FraudIdentity Theft
Our understanding and awareness of cybercrime is high, with more than eight in 10 able to identify it, and almost ALL of us actually expecting to become a victim at some point. We also don’t expect cybercriminals to be brought to justice which leaves us feeling powerless and fearful, but also viewing cybercrime is inevitable. Despite the fact that most adults either think about cybercrime or expect to be scammed or defrauded online at some point, only HALF say they would change their behaviour if they became a victim. Why?
We spoke with a professor of psychology to help put the issue in context He described a concept of learned helplessness – Which is what happens when people are just too overwhelmed by a problem to be able to face it head on. He gave a good example of how some people often feel ripped off when going to a garage because they just don’t know enough about cars – so they either go with it or do nothing.. What’s sad about our Report’s discovery is that so many people who are feeling anxiety about cybercrime need not feel anxiety -- there are so many tools available to help them and it’s clear that we need to do more about educating them.
Contributing to the “learned helplessness” is the sense of powerlessness tied to the fact that more than half of people see the perpetrators as “faceless” criminals.Only 2 in 10 believe that organized crime rings are behind the threats. That’s way off – we estimate over 90% comes from organized crime. And roughly 8 in 10 don’t believe criminals will be brought to justice…____________ More than half of the people (56%) queried in the study responded that they suspected a faceless criminal is behind cybercrime. And a fifth (21%) believe it’s the work of organized crime entities. 8 out of 10 respondents don’t believe criminals will be brought to justice. Perhaps it is the “fuzzy” and unclear image of these criminals that creates the disconnect between cybercrime and justice. Our report indicates that victims need a clearer path to assistance and justice. Only by understanding what safeguards currently exist to provide protection and by becoming empowered to participate in the justice system will victims regain their right to use the Internet to work and play freely without fear.
This second area of the report uniquely deals with how people are feeling emotionally as a result of cybercrime.
EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF FEARAngry. Annoyed. Cheated. This is how adults report feeling after being a victim of cybercrime. People feel varying levels of personal responsibility, with some victims placing the blame on themselves. In some instances, criminals, or even the infected websites are being blamed. And in other cases,victims are blaming themselves.Take a moment yourselves to think how you felt or would feel should you fall victim to cybercrime -- chances are it’s already happened to you! I spoke to a mom whose child unknowingly clicked on an alert that said he needed to update her security software which then allowed malware onto his computer – it really felt like some creepy guy was inappropriately approaching her child and watching what he was doing – which he was! You bet she felt angry and violated. “These feelings are normal and realistic and are the same as the feelings of a victim in the offline world,” comments Joseph LaBrie. “But with an interesting twist…“We’ve developed certain expectations of technology that we haven’t of other things. So when our basic right to use technology becomes complicated by cybercrime, we feel irritated because this is not how it is supposed to work!”There is a growing prevalence of fear and trepidation associated with Internet usage, along with a general theme of powerlessness. But in reality people are not powerless. They can take preventative measures that not only protect them but protect society and the global community. The higher the awareness of how to prevent online victimization, the more people will use security solutions and common sense measures to “block” cybercriminals from targeting them for theft or as unwitting partners in attacks on others.
When cybercrime strikes, individuals take it really personally and actually blame themselves for some of the cybercrime as illustrated in the statistics on this slide.Roughly 70% of adults feel some level of responsibility for most cybercrimes. Whether it’s falling prey to phishing scams (78%) to identify theft (76%), credit card fraud, someone hacking into their social networking profile, and even downloading a virus or threat (73%).Even when it comes to online harassment or being approached by a sexual predator, some victims still blame themselves (41% and 47% respectively). And surprisingly, even 6 in 10 felt some level of responsibility for online harassment.
When cybercrime strikes, less than half of all victims call their financial institution or the police and just over a third contact the website owner or email provider.We find it quite shocking that 44%, just over a third actually contact that police.In the UK and US people are more likely to call their bank or financial institution (63% and 59% respectively). While in Sweden and Japan, they are more likely to call the police (74% and 52%).___________________After falling victim, the top three places/resources people reach out to are: Their banks (48%)Police (44%)The website/email (34% provide) Regional call-outs: In the U.K. and U.S. they are at a higher rate to call bank or financial institution (65% and 59% respectively).In Sweden and Japan, they are more likely to call the police (74% and 52%)
Our report also revealed that interestingly, some people are taking a do-it-yourself approach to try and fix cybercrime on their own terms versus calling in the authorities or professionals. As an example, 32% are restricting the websites they visit – which we know without a search advisor does not workOr 26% get a family member to help -- which we also know is a little chancy as many threats are hard to remove and detect!But clearly, the “home remedies” are really viable solutions and could in some cases just exacerbate the problem. This data shows us that there is still a lot of work to do in the education arena.
Resolution is hard to come by. The study shows that in addition to cybercrime hitting wallets, it is also a major hassle.We found that the average cost of crime is $334. But take a look at those stats on China and Brazil at roughly $1,000 and $1,400.. And Canada and Australia at over $500.Regarding time -- nearly three in 10 identified the biggest hassle is the time it takes to sort things out. The average time was 28 days to resolve and over 1/3rd NEVER resolve it! Japan is off the charts, with cybercrime issues not resolved 60% of the time. China and India are next in line at 49% and 45%.
Our third area of the study involved looking at the online ethics, and we found that our moral compasses may not always point “true north.”
We’ve been talking about the bad guys, but what about consumer behaviour?Despite the fact that there is a significant amount of unethical and even illegal behaviour place, only a fifth have any online regrets!11% think it’s OK to impersonate someone online12% say it OK to use someone else’s research12% think it’s OK to browse someone else’s files and email5% even think it’s OK to hack into someone’s computer and sell their personal information online Some of this we think reflects some grey areas, where there’s not overall agreement and clarity about what’s ethical and what’s not. In balance, the good news is most people felt it to be unethical to hack into someone’s computer (87%), impersonate someone online (69%) and sell someone’s personal information (87%)
Why does the grey area matter... it’s unethical, illegal, and it also opens you up to more cybercrime. According to the experts like Adam Palmer, cybercriminals are lurking in the places where people are downloading illegal content, and using those channels to distribute malware. We’ve got our work cut out for us because as our psychologist, Dr. LaBrie, explains people’s mindset regarding “free” content from the Internet: “We’ve become accustomed to getting so much of what we need off the Internet for free. So it’s difficult to train people to think about paying for something in this otherwise free place. They don’t regard it in the same way as regular commerce. The psychology around the Internet is that if it’s out there, it’s fair game.”We need to get the word out that danger often lurks alongside ‘free’ illegal content.
White Lies and False IDS are Common! The research indicates that nearly half of all people surveyed are telling so called “white lies” while online. 33% of people globally have assumed fictitious online identities – either in the form of false names, completely false identities and/or photos.Germans scored highest in admitting to using a false identity online (53%) and British scored the lowest (18%). Our report collaborator, Anne Collier, provides great perspective on why people might not always be honest… “Sometimes people create alternate identities or screen names online if they want to say something anonymously. Research also shows that users will fictionalize their social network profiles to fend off people who aren’t their friends offline. Online anonymity can be positive or negative, protective or fraudulent. This study really brings out that – to protect themselves – people need to think critically about what they see and download as much as what they post online,” says online security expert, Anne Collier.
There is no laser surgery to remove a digital tattoo...Nearly half of all adults globally believe you can never completely restore a negative online reputation (45%). Whether it’s a bad photo posted online, a negative bit of gossip or even a self post that you later regret, online activity leaves a long, dark shadow. And once you’ve sustained a damaged online reputation, it’s like a digital tattoo – but with no laser surgery to remove it.45% believe you can NEVER restore a positive reputation22% have online regrets Regional Callout: China is more optimistic about restoring negative online reputations. Nearly 75% think they can restore their online reputations. Canadian, Spanish, Australian and US adults are the most pessimistic about restoring reputations – with more than half saying it can never be restored (57%, 54%, 51% and 51% respectively).
Being online today is like navigating your way through a massive crowd. Well, our report shows that people actually understand how to do this and what it takes to be a good “digital citizen”, and what it comes down to is respect. Roughly 80% are following good manners and know they should not be harassing, stalking, bullying or threatening each other! And they know not to pass along spam and embarrassing photo’s! _________________Global stats:Don’t harass or stalk people online (80%)Don’t‘ bully or threaten others online (80%)Don’t pass along spam (77%)Don’t pass along embarrassing photos (74%)
The fourth area of the report focuses on what is really the most important section to all of us whose mission it is to help people be safer online. This section actually identifies the areas where people need the most help.
So the good news is the that roughly 60% of people surveyed confirm that they know or follow these common sense rules:Never giving out passwords 75%Not giving out personal information 73%Not clicking on attachments from strangers 71%Keeping security software installed and up to date- 67%Using complex passwords and changing them regularly 53%But there are also some so-called common sense/home grown rules being followed that aren’t actually helpful and truly, this is the data that is so insightful to us and why we conduct this survey in the first place – these are our opportunities for helping people – this is where we need to focus our education efforts! Only visiting large brand websites that they’re familiar with 27% (major brand sites can also be infected) Checking for the ‘s’ after http in an address 29% (easily faked)Recommendations from friends 29% (not too helpful unless they’re security experts!)
This slide illustrates some of the risky behavior and communicates the “NEW RULEs” to keep them safer. As an example, our research shows the 83% of people do not use a separate email account for online purchases. This allows cybercriminals to unlock all of your online accounts. Don’t give the cybercriminals an easy ride – use different email addresses for shopping, banking, etc.We found that roughly 7 in 10 DO NOT know that They should use a separate email for online purchasesThey should not use a debit cardThey should back up regularly Change their passwords frequentlyUse a search advisor to stay away from unsafe sites
The most important take away from the Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact is that people need to TAKE A STAND!
The single most powerful defensive tool people have at their disposal is the RIGHT Internet Security Software. As evidenced by real cybercriminal chatter in Internet Relay Chat (IRC) forums about trying to break into computers protected by our security software. (See the quotes above from real cybercriminals)People also need to START TALKING ABOUT IT! Get vocal, let others know you have been victimized so that they know they are not alone in the fight. Our research shows that people keep their stories private because they have been embarrassed or just don’t think talking about it matters, but it does. It gets others to take action.And people need to report cybercrime to the authorities – there is power in numbers. There are many laws that have been changed because enough people got angry and took action – eg. food safety, traffic safety. Texting while driving is sure to be illegal everywhere very soon because enough people spoke up about the dangers.The safer you are, the safer others will be.
We should all be able to enjoy the Internet without fear of victimization. Empowerment will occur by raising awareness of the issues related to cybercrime and educating people on best practices and the right products and technologies to prevent becoming a victim. We at Norton are committed to standing on the frontline of the fight against cybercrime to see the statistics in this Report shift for the better each year. Victims the world over need to start taking a stand against cybercrime. Combining common sense with the right computer software makes a massive difference to fighting cybercrime. Everyone can contribute. Common sense is free, but free security or just antivirus software is not enough. Cybercriminals are always looking to get around security and will share what they learn. The right software keeps them away. Everyone is capable of contributing to the reduction of cybercrime worldwide. The statistic that 49% of people wouldn’t change behaviour if victimized indicates that not enough people understand how to prevent and combat cybercrime. The fewer computers available for criminal activity, the fewer the cybercrimes – and the safer the global community will be.We want people to take a stand against cybercrime, but we are going to take an even stronger stand as well. There are certain statistics that we would like to see reduced – and as a company we are committed to working hard to see them improve. What we want to see changed next year: 65% have been a victim of cybercrime – unacceptable!97% expect to b e a victim – unacceptable!91% don’t feel safe – unacceptable! .
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