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Overconfident Consumers Aid Hackers, 172 Billion Stolen in 2017

January 24, 2018 / Source: Bank News

January 24 — Consumers are confident they’re safe online, but in 2017 hackers were able to steal $172 billion from 978 million consumers in 20 countries. In the U.S. alone, 143 million consumers were victims of cybercrime, which accounts for more than half of the U.S. adult online population. Losses totaled $19.4 billion, and each victim lost an average of nearly 20 hours in managing the aftermath.

According to the 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, consumers used device protection technologies such as fingerprint ID (45 percent), pattern matching (21 percent) and facial recognition (16 percent), as well as personal VPNs, voice ID and two-factor authentication. Even so, these same consumers were often practicing poor password hygiene, and they still fell victim to cybercrime.

As people embrace more smart technology (and frequently on multiple devices), hackers gain more avenues to access accounts. Forty-six percent of U.S. cybercrime victims owned a smart device for streaming content (compared to one quarter of non-victims), and they were three times more likely to own a conntected home device. Moreover, despite experiencing cybercrime within the last year, nearly a quarter of the U.S. victims used the same online password across all accounts, and 60 percent shared their passwords for at least one device with others. To compare, only 17 percent of non-victims reuse passwords, and 37 percent share their passwords with others.

Interestingly, despite the number of cybercrimes committed in 2017, consumer confidence in online data security remains generally high. The report states:

76 percent of consumers gained or maintained trust in organizations such as banks and financial institutions, and 71 percent gained or maintained trust in identity theft protection service providers, despite attacks that made headlines this year.
53 percent lost trust in their government to manage their data and personal information within the past year.
39 percent lost trust in social media platforms.
37 percent of U.S. cybercrime victims gained trust in themselves to manage their data and personal information.

Find more information on the report here.