2012 Norton Study: Consumer Cybercrime Costs New Zealand $462.9 million
Cost per victim goes down; social and mobile incidents on the rise
AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 12 September 2012 – Norton by Symantec today released the findings of its annual Norton Cybercrime Report
, one of the world’s largest consumer cybercrime studies. The study is aimed at understanding how cybercrime affects
consumers, and how the adoption and evolution of new technologies impacts people’s security. With findings based on
self-reported experiences of more than 13,000 adults across 24 countries, the 2012 edition of the Norton Cybercrime
Report calculates the direct costs associated with global consumer cybercrime at US $110 billion over the past
twelve months. In New Zealand it is estimated that more than 900,000 people fell victim to cybercrime in the past twelve
months, suffering NZ $462.9 million (US $370 million) in direct financial losses.
Every second, 18 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than one-and-a-half million cybercrime
victims each day on a global level – with losses totaling an average of US $197 per victim across the world in direct
financial costs. In the past twelve months, an estimated 556 million adults across the world experienced cybercrime,
more than the entire population of the European Union. This figure represents 46 percent (39 percent in New Zealand)
of online adults who have been victims of cybercrime in the past twelve months.
Changing Face of Cybercrime
This year’s survey shows an increase in “new” forms of cybercrime compared to last year, such as those found on social
networks or mobile devices - a sign that cybercriminals are starting to focus their efforts on these increasingly
popular platforms. One in five online adults (21 percent) has been a victim of either social or mobile cybercrime, and
16 percent of social network users in New Zealand have been victims of social cybercrime, specifically:
• 13 percent of New Zealand social network users reported someone had hacked into their profile and pretended to be
• 1 in 10 New Zealand social network users said they’d fallen victim to a scam or fake link on social network platforms.
• While 75 percent believe that cybercriminals are setting their sights on social networks, only a third (36 percent)
actually use a security solution which protects them from social network threats and only 49 percent use the privacy
settings to control what information they share, and with whom.
• Almost 1 in 5 (19 percent) of New Zealand mobile users received a text message from someone they didn’t know
requesting that they click on an embedded link or dial an unknown number to retrieve a “voicemail”.
“Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to target fast growing mobile platforms and social networks where consumers
are less aware of security risks,” says Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate. “This mirrors what we saw in
this year’s Symantec Internet Security Threat Report
 which reported nearly twice the mobile vulnerabilities in 2011 from the year before.”
The 2012 Norton Cybercrime Report also reveals that most New Zealand Internet users take the basic steps to protect
themselves and their personal information - such as deleting suspicious emails (91 percent) and being careful with their
personal details online (81 percent).
However, other core precautions are being ignored. This year’s report also indicates that many online adults are unaware
as to how some of the most common forms of cybercrime have evolved over the years and thus have a difficult time
recognising how malware, such as viruses, act on their computer.
“Malware and viruses used to wreak obvious havoc on your computer,” Merritt continues. “You’d get a blue screen, or your
computer would crash, alerting you to an infection. But cybercriminals’ methods have evolved; they want to avoid
detection as long as possible. This year’s results show that nearly half of Internet users believe that unless their
computer crashes or malfunctions, they’re not 100 percent sure they’ve fallen victim to such an attack.”
Strong Email Passwords Still Key
Nearly one fifth (19 percent) of online adults in New Zealand report having been notified to change their password for a
compromised email account. With people sending, receiving, and storing everything from personal photos (45 percent) to
work-related correspondence and documents (36 percent) to bank statements (19 percent) and passwords for other online
accounts (13 percent), those email accounts can be a potential gateway for criminals looking for personal and corporate
“Personal email accounts often contain the keys to your online kingdom. Not only can criminals gain access to everything
in your inbox, they can also reset your passwords for any other online site you may use by clicking the ‘forgot your
password’ link, intercepting those emails and effectively locking you out of your own accounts,” says Adam Palmer,
Norton Lead Cybersecurity Advisor. “Protect your email accordingly by using complex passwords and changing them
For more findings from the Norton Cybercrime Report globally and by country, please visit: http://www.norton.com/2012cybercrimereport
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Norton Cybercrime Report Methodology
Between July 16th, 2012 and July 30th, 2012, StrategyOne conducted online interviews with 13,000 adults, aged 18 to 64
from 24 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA).
The margin of error for the total sample of adults (n=13018) is 0.9% at the 95% level of confidence
1000 adult respondents were interviewed in each of USA and India, 500 in other countries. The global data has been
weighted to ensure all countries have equal representation of n500 adults.
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