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Cyber criminals attacked 1.4 million Singaporeans in past year

Anuradha Shukla | Sept. 6, 2012
Nation suffered about US$944 million in direct financial losses: 2012 Norton study

Cyber criminals were successful in attacking more than 1.4 million Singaporeans in the past 12 months that resulted in US$944 million direct financial losses.

The 2012 edition of the Norton Cybercrime Report indicates that a total of 72 percent of Singaporean online adults have been a victim of cyber crime in their lifetime.

Although this number represents a decrease of eight percent compared to 2011, 48 percent of online adults in Singapore have experienced cyber crime in the past 12 months

The average direct financial cost per victim was calculated as US$657 by the Norton researchers.

Most Internet users surveyed take the basic steps to protect themselves and their personal information but are not careful about taking core precautions. Of those surveyed, 41 percent don't use complex passwords or change their passwords frequently and 40 percent do not check for the padlock symbol in the browser before entering sensitive personal information.

Increase of social cyber crime

One in five online adults has been a victim of either social or mobile cyber crime in Singapore and 36 percent of social network users have been victims of social cyber crime.

About 12 percent of social network users said someone had hacked into their profile and the same percentage said they were a victim of a scam or fake link on social network platforms.

Eighty percent are aware that cyber criminals are setting their sights on social networks but only 46 percent use a security solution which protects them from social network threat.

Only 55 percent use the privacy settings to control what information they share, and with whom.

Also, 36 percent of adults do not know that malware can operate in a discreet fashion, and more than 65 percent are not sure if their computer is currently clean and free of viruses.

"Cyber criminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers are less aware of security risks," said Effendy Ibrahim, Internet safety advocate & director, Asia, Norton by Symantec. "This mirrors what we saw in this year's Symantec Internet Security Threat Report8 which reported nearly twice the mobile vulnerabilities in 2011 from the year before."


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