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Cyber Crime Made 1 in 5 End-users its Victim in 2007-08

Consumer Reports National Research Center (US) has recently conducted a survey titled, "State of the Net" in which it said - one in 5 end-users were attacked by Internet crime during 2007-08. Cyber criminals adopted various attack vectors, including phishing, identity theft and other scams resulting in the loss of approximately $8 Billion on account of spyware, viruses and phishing.

According to the survey, there is typical boldness in the digital fiends who are likely to shoot up amidst the bitter economic conditions. Increasing foreclosures and unemployment resemble Petri dish traditions for recession-related online scams.

The survey, which discovered the widely spreading online identity fraud, queried over 2,000 households during January 2009 and found that a huge 2 Million households were victims of ID theft during 2008 mostly on account of online shopping.

There are still concerns of phishing attacks, a practice of dispatching genuine-looking but fake e-mails to rob users off sensitive personal details, the study showed. Accordingly, the Center computed that almost 7 Million consumers or one in 13 households handed over their private details to phishers during 2007-08.

Among fraud victims, one in 7 was cheated of money during 2007-08. During the period, the total loss to the US online consumers because of phishing was estimated at $483 Million.

Further, Consumer Reports discovered that due to malicious online activities, about 545,000 households were forced to change their PCs during January-June 2009, while one in twelve users suffered serious spyware problems.

Disturbingly, foreign entities have also attacked the federal computer networks to hijack sensitive data.

In addition to the survey's results, Consumer Reports has also issued certain security tips, which could help people to keep themselves protected from cyber crime. The Center's security specialists state that large enterprises need to enhance the protection of confidential client data by regularly checking the security of their websites.

Additionally, users should not click on unfamiliar e-mail links and stay away from websites they suspect to display fake domain names. As for organizations, they must maintain data backup to avoid any dilemma in case of data loss. And lastly, it is essential to deploy security software like, antivirus, anti-spyware and anti-spam.

Related article: Cyber Child abuser Sentenced To Imprisonment

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