symantec_logo200h-Online: According to Symantec’s 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report, worldwide, private individuals have suffered approximately $100 billion (more than £69 billion at the current exchange rate) in financial losses as a result of cybercrime. In the period from July 2011 to July 2012, losses averaged $197 (£124) per victim.

A total of 556 million adults are reported to have fallen victim to malware, phishing or similar virtual crimes. The report claims that there are 1.5 million victims of cybercrime each day, or about 18 per second. The security specialist’s report also states that two-thirds of internet users have been caught out by cybercriminals at some point in their lives, and almost half (46%) were victims during the period covered by the report. The results reveal that many of those affected are victims of their own carelessness. Around 40% of people don’t use complex passwords or don’t change their passwords regularly.

According to Symantec, 85% of financial costs are the result of fraud, repairs, theft and lossThere appears to be a clear trend of cybercriminals targeting social networks and mobile devices, with around 20% of users having suffered losses as a result of such attacks. The study also claims that 15% of social media accounts have been compromised and that 10% of users have fallen for fake links and scams on social networks. A total of 75% of those surveyed believe that cybercriminals are increasingly targeting social networking services.

Losses within the EU are reported to amount to $16 billion (over £10 billion). China emerges as the country whose citizens have suffered the greatest financial loss – $46 billion (nearly £29 billion) – while Russia has the largest number of victims, with 92% of users surveyed in the country having experienced problems with cybercrime. The report surveyed more than 13,000 online adults aged 18-64 in 24 different countries.