1.5 million hit by cybercrime everyday

Every day, over 1.5 million people around the world fall victim to cybercrime.

According to the most recent Norton Cybercrime Report [PDF], the $110 billion (£69 billion) global price tag of consumer cybercrime is equal to the amount of money Americans spent annually on fast food.

Based on data collected last year from 13,018 online adults ages 18 to 64 in 24 countries, antivirus firm Norton reported that two out of every three Internet users have been victimised at some point in their lifetime. On a grander scale, almost half of all online adults have been attacked by malware, viruses, hacking, scams, fraud, or theft.

But, as consumers go mobile, so do cybercriminals. Two out of three adults use a mobile device to access the Internet, which has led to the number of mobile-based vulnerabilities to double since 2010.

According to the Norton report, a majority of Internet users are concerned that cybercriminals are now setting their sights on social networks, which, based on data, might not be such a crazy idea. In 2011, four out of 10 social network users were the victim of social networking platform hacks.

Mobile users don't have to live a life of fear, though. Norton suggested that cybercrime can be prevented, if people know how to handle their mobile devices.

According to the survey, 35 per cent of adults have lost their phone or tablet, or had it stolen, and when two-thirds of people don't set any sort of security solution on their device, it's not hard for anyone to wiggle their way in.

A whopping 44 per cent of people aren't even aware, Norton said, that security for mobile devices exists.

It's not only a matter of safeguarding your phone, but for those two-thirds of people surfing unsecure or public Wi-Fi networks, it could mean open access to personal emails, social networks, online shopping, or bank accounts.

A recent Pew Research Center survey highlighted that a growing number of smartphone users are aware that their data needs to be secured.

"The wealth of intimate details stored on smartphones makes them akin to the personal diaries of the past, Pew research associate and report-co-author Aaron Smith said in a statement. "The information they contain is hard to replace if lost, and potentially embarrassing in the wrong hands."

To help curb cybercrime, Norton reminded all online users to delete suspicious emails from unknown senders, install a basic antivirus solution on your device, and avoid opening unsolicited email or text attachments or links.

Statistically, Russia, China, and South Africa seem to be the most at-risk countries, while cybercrime victims tend to be young males who often access the Internet on a mobile device and frequent social networks, the report found.

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