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Just how bad is online crime and hacking? Would you believe that the amount of time and money lost to cybercrime exceeds that of the global black market value for marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined?
That's one of the finding from the Norton Cybercrime Report 2011, the latest annual study released today by Symantec, the maker of Norton security software. Based on interviews conducted in 24 countries with more than 12,000 adults and 7,000 children, from February to March, the report concluded:
The main issue, says Norton's researchers, still lies with consumers. Although 74 percent of respondent are "always aware" of cybercrime, 41 percent admit they don't have up-to-date security programs. Fewer than half (47 percent) of respondents regularly review their credit card statements for signs of fraud, and fewer than 40 percent use strong passwords or change them regularly.
Similar costs from Web threats were also detailed in Consumer Reports' recent cyber-security report, State of the Net 2011. In that report, our researchers found that malware in the U.S. cost consumer some $2.3 billion last year.
For tips on how to protect yourself and your data, check out Consumer Reports' Guide to Online Security. And for non-biased advice on the best computer security software, see our Ratings of software security suites.