08 Sep 2010

Majority of web users fall victim to online crime

Many internet users across the globe have fallen victim to online crime, a new internet security study conducted by a data-management company has found.

About two-thirds of web surfers globally and nearly three-quarters of those in the U.S. have experienced web-based crime. Overall, the study found the U.S. to be the fourth-most common country for web crime. China is atop the list, while Brazil and India tied for second.

The study took into account interviews with more than 7,000 adults in 14 countries.

Viruses and malware were most common forms of attacks among the respondents, with 51 percent having dealt with either. Experts say the best way to combat online crime is to regularly update antivirus software.

Even with the high rate of crime, half of the 25 percent who expected to be victimized said they wouldn't change their online habits. Of the victims, the study showed 44 percent reported problems to the police.

A recent CNET published report on the state of internet security explained the crossroads antivirus companies face. They must keep up with ever-evolving virus and malware writers, while shifting products to cover the increasing number of handheld devices, which are now being targeted by cyber criminals.