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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 11, 2012

Norton: Cybercriminals getting smart with social and mobile

Hackers are getting more devious by the day, according to a new cybercrime report from Norton, and are getting smarter in their use of social media and mobile.

by Helen Leggatt

Cybercrime is bigger than the black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined ($288 billion) and more than 100 times the annual expenditure of UNICEF. Two-thirds of online adults have been a victim of cybercrime and today it affects 18 adults each and every second, across 24 countries. Last year it was 14 adults per second.

And the problem contines to grow.

norton social.jpg

In its latest annual Cybercrime Report, Internet security firm Norton reveals a worrying, yet expected, trend - criminals are now latching on to mobile and social media as channels ripe for hacking.

It's easy to see why hackers are targeting mobile. While two-thirds of adults use their mobile device to browse the Internet, few have installed a security app or use the most up-to-date mobile security. Just as scary is the statistic that almost a third of mobile users have clicked on an embedded link, or dialed an unknown number, in a text sent by an unknown sender.

Some mobile users don't know any better - 44% were unaware that security solutions exist for mobile phones.

Mobile devices are moving more towards being virtual wallets and the worrying reality is that hackers will then have even more motivation to hack and scam users.

As for social, three out of four social network users believe cybercriminals have them in their sights - and they'd be right. Four out of ten social network users report having fallen victim to cybercrime on their network. As with mobile, few social network users use security tools or tweak their privacy settings. In fact, one in six has no idea if their privacy settings are set to public or private.

"While the makeup of cybercrime continues to shift from increasingly protected environments like computers to the less guarded and extremely vulnerable social networks and mobile devices, consumers must increase their vigilance," says Marian Merritt of Symantech.

Tags: cybercrime, Internet security, mobile, social

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