According to Symantec’s 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, more than one-half of the adult internet population in the United States was affected by some form of virus, malware, spyware or phishing scam in 2017. That accounts for roughly 143 million Americans. From those attacks, consumers lost $19.4 billion, and the average cyber crime victim spent 23.6 hours dealing with the aftermath.
Many of the crimes resulted from consumers making basic security mistakes. For example, 60% of victims made the mistake of sharing at least one of their passwords for their online accounts or devices with another person. Another cyber mistake was using a single password across multiple online accounts, which is something 24% of U.S. consumers made the mistake of doing, according to the survey.
The group of U.S. consumers with the best password management was the baby-boomer generation, with 69% ensuring they used a different password for each online account. However, 24% of them made the mistake of writing down their passwords on a piece of paper.
Prevention is Key
Symantec recommends following these basic cyber security best practices to ensure safety online:
- Change your passwords every few months.
- Don’t use the same passwords for multiple accounts.
- Don’t share your passwords.
- Use an anti-virus program.
- Use due diligence when opening emails, clicking on links or downloading attachments online.
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