Johannesburg – Every second 18 adults become victims of
Cyber criminals follow users and increasingly focus on the
social media to find their next victim.
In South Africa over the past 12 months the direct cost
associated with consumer cyber crime was some R3.7bn. The global cost was around
According to the Norton Cyber crime Report 556m people
globally and 2.39m in South Africa became the victims of cyber crime in the past
year. In South Africa this represents 64% of adults online.
Cyber criminals are busy switching tactics to target rapidly
growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of
security risks, says Marian Merritt, Norton’s internet security champion.
According to the report there has been an increase in “new”
forms of cyber crime – such as that on social networks.
One out of five people globally and almost a third in South Africa have already fallen
victim to either social or mobile cyber crime.
Almost half of the South Africans using social media have
been victims on this platform.
Most internet users take basic steps to protect themselves –
such as deleting suspicious e-mail messages and taking care when providing
personal details online, according to the report.
But other important precautionary measures are ignored – 40%
neither use complex passwords nor change them regularly and more than a third
do not watch out for the padlock symbol in the search engine before providing
sensitive personal information, such as banking details.
According to the report many internet users are unaware of
how the most common types of cyber crime have morphed over the years.
Adam Palmer, Norton’s chief adviser on cyber security, says
personal e-mail accounts often contain the key to your online “kingdom”.
Not only can criminals gain access to everything in your
in-basket, but they can also alter your password for any other website by
clicking the “forgotten password” link, intercepting the e-mail and lock you
out of your own account.
Protect your e-mail by using complex passwords and change
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