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A recent report from Symantec claims more than half of the United States’ consumers believe storing credit and banking information in the cloud is riskier than driving without a seat belt. What’s even harder to believe is that they might just be correct due to the report’s claims that consumers globally lost $158 billion to cybercrime in just the past year with $30 billion of that number coming from the U.S. alone. Symantec’s 2016 Norton Cybersecurity Insights report “examines consumers’ online behaviors, attitudes and security habits alongside the dangers and financial cost of cybercrime.” The report, which surveyed 17,000 people across 17 countries, reveals many frightening numbers and statistics relating to cybercrime:

  • 594 million people were victims of online crimes in just the past year
  • Those who became victim of cybercrime lost an average of 21 hours and nearly $358 when dealing with the crime
  • More than one-third of people who share their passwords in the U.S. also shared their password with their banking account
  • Less than half of consumers who use passwords “always” use a secure password. Additionally, one in three does not use a password on their phone or desktop computer.

The Norton report also provided several recommendations for save computing practices to reduce the odds of you being a victim of a cybercrime:

  • Use unique, smart and secure passwords for all of your online accounts
  • Delete emails from senders you don’t know, and don’t click on suspicious file attachments
  • Don’t click on posts offering free trips or other items that sound too good to be true
  • Monitor your financial accounts for suspicious activity including small “test” amounts often charged by cyber criminals
  • Don’t put off updating your software since those updates often contain important patches for dangerous security holes that cyber criminals could use to access your device
  • Use a secure backup solution to protect your files and backup regularly so criminals can’t hold them for ransom

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