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More people in SA victims of cyber crime

Nov 04 2012 16:06 Niel Joubert
Internet computer

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Johannesburg – Every second 18 adults become victims of cyber crime.

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 $110bn.

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 them regularly.

 - Sake24

For more business news in Afrikaans, go to Sake24.com.

 
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