Most consumers concerned about becoming victims of online crime

Globally, 62 percent of consumers believe it’s more likely their credit card information will be stolen online compared to only 38 percent who think it’s more likely they will lose credit card information from their wallets, according to Symantec.

47 percent reported they have been affected by cybercrime. In the U.S.:

  • Seven in 10 Americans believe using public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom
  • Just over half of consumers think that storing their credit card and banking information in the cloud is riskier than not wearing a seatbelt
  • More than half of parents believe online bullying is more likely than physical bullying at school.

“Consumer confidence was rocked in 2014 by an unprecedented number of mega breaches that exposed the identities of millions of people who were simply making routine purchases from well-known retailers,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Norton by Symantec. “Our findings demonstrate the headlines rattled people’s trust in mobile and online activity, but the threat of cybercrime hasn’t led to widespread adoption of simple protection measures people should take to safeguard their devices and information online.”

Who tops the list of those most aware of online security practices in the U.S.? Baby Boomers – a group often considered less tech-savvy – report more secure online habits than Millennials. While Millennials, born in the digital era, often throw caution to the wind with 36 percent admitting to sharing passwords and other risky online behavior.

Across the 17 countries surveyed, consumers lost an average of 21 hours over the past year dealing with the fallout of online crime and nearly $358 per person – totaling roughly $150B. On top of this loss, cybercrime takes a true emotional toll with nearly half of consumers experiencing cybercrime in the U.S. feeling furious after being affected by cybercrime. Further, in the US:

  • Nearly nine in 10 respondents said they’d feel devastated if their personal financial information was compromised
  • Seven in 10 consumers would rather cancel dinner plans with a best friend than have to cancel their debit or credit card due to cybercrime
  • Sixty-three percent would rather go on a bad date than have to deal with customer service after a security breach.

Despite concern and awareness of cybercrime, consumers are overconfident in their online security behaviors. When asked to grade their security practices, they consistently award themselves a solid “A.” But in reality, most are not passing the most basic requirement of online security: password use. In the U.S.:

  • Of those using passwords, less than half always use a secure password – a combination of at least eight letters, numbers and symbols. Worryingly, over one in three do not have a password on their smartphone or desktop.
  • People are sharing passwords to online sensitive accounts with friends and family. Of those sharing passwords, more than one in three share the password to their banking account, and on average they are sharing passwords for two accounts, with the most common passwords shared being email (50 percent), TV/media (45 percent) and social media (40 percent).
  • Ironically, two in three believe it is riskier to share their email password with a friend than lend them their car, yet half of those sharing passwords do just that.
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