A recent report from Symantec Corp. (SYMC) Norton unit indicated that while consumers are growing increasingly aware of the need to protect their personal information online, many remain unmotivated to take the simple steps and secure their devices. The study shows the risk of constant connectivity, particularly with Millennials, those susceptible to phishing scams, and individuals willing to compromise web safety for Wi-Fi connection.
The annual 2016 Norton Cybersecurity Insights report found that 76% of consumers know they must actively protect their information online, but they continue to share confidential information such as passwords. The study also warns that while consumers remain complacent, hackers are sharpening their skills.
Within the last year, Norton found that 689 million people in 21 countries experienced cybercrime. In the 17 countries the survey examined both this year and last, researchers found a 10% increase. Cybercrime amounted to $126 billion paid globally by cybercrime victims, not including the 19.7 billion hours lost dealing with the issues.
The study found Millennials among those with the greatest exposure to cybercrime, with 40% having experienced cybercrime over the past year. Norton warned that four in 10 people are unable to detect a phishing email, making them vulnerable to giving personal information or clicking on a harmful link. A whopping 80% of those consumers experienced negative consequences such as identity theft, theft from bank accounts, credit cards, unauthorized apps, etc.
Norton advises consumers to take steps to ensure cybersecurity, such as using strong, unique passwords, staying cautious of phishing scams, protecting wireless connection with Wi-Fi encryption, entrust devices to security software and avoiding making private info public on Wi-Fi.