If you’ve fallen victim to a driveby download, phishing attack or virus laden PDF attachment, don’t despair: you’re in good company, according to a study sponsored by anti malware firm Symantec Corp. The anti virus software found that a whopping 73 percent of Internet users in the U.S. they surveyed identified themselves as victims of cybercrime…and feel really bad about it.
The survey was conducted by Symantec in cooperation with independent market research firm. It asked identical questions to adults in 14 countries and involved just over 7,000 participants, Symantec said in a press release. The U.S. had the third highest percentage of self-reporting cybercrime victims after China and Brazil where, respectively, 83 percent and 76 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as victims of at least one cybercrime- a term that includes infection by viruses, online credit card fraud and identity theft.
Despite the fact that cybercrime is almost always a face-less crime, the survey found that its effect on victims was similar to that of other kinds of property crimes. Fifty eight percent of those who had been vicitimized said they felt anger over the incident, with 51% describing themselves as “annoyed.” A whopping 80 percent doubted that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. That pessimism may lead to a sense of helplessness among victims, Symantec said, and may also explain the low incidence of reported cyber crime. Just 44 percent of victims said they reported the cybercrime they were a victim of to police.
While a majority of those surveyed said they felt “somewhat safe” online, other recent surveys have revealed increasing hesitance among business leaders about the safety of the Internet as a medium for commerce.