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2013 Norton Report: Cybercrime Goes Mobile; Security Lags Behind

Kiwis generally unaware of risks associated with mobile devices

Auckland, New Zealand – 16 October 2013 – Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) today released its 2013 Norton Report that found a general lack of security awareness when it comes to using mobile devices. The report found that 27 percent of New Zealand survey respondents had experienced mobile cybercrime in the past 12 months, compared to 16 percent in 2012 and some 26 percent (approximately one in five) of survey respondents had lost their mobile device or had it stolen.


"Mobile devices are creating a perfect storm for cybercriminals," said Michelle Amery, country manager, Symantec New Zealand. "While adoption of mobile devices is high, awareness and willingness to take precautions against threats on these devices is low. At the same time, criminals are seeing success with developing mobile-specific malware and scams, and taking advantage of consumers' lost and stolen phones."


The report also revealed that Kiwis are taking major risks online when it comes to utilising social media and blurring the lines between their work and personal devices. All of these factors have contributed in bringing the total cost of cybercrime in New Zealand in the past 12 months to NZ$152 million (compared to NZ$462 million in 2012), with one million Kiwi cybercrime victims[1], compared to 900,000 in 2012.


"While globally, the cost of cybercrime is up, within New Zealand the cost is down quite significantly," said Amery. "This is due to cybercriminals shifting tactics, perhaps as Kiwis become more aware of scams. Cybercriminals also use tactics where there is a lower cost per head to victims, as they believe scams like these have a higher chance of escaping notice.  The number of online victims in New Zealand has increased, indicating that cybercriminals are still making money from online fraud.


"Although the cost of cybercrime has gone down this year, far too many consumers are still succumbing to online threats and need to take steps to protect themselves. Every time consumers are online on any platform – mobile, social or cloud, they run the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime if they do not take the necessary security precautions," added Amery.


Blurring Lines Between Work and Personal Devices

The Norton Report also reveals a continued blurring of lines across the work and personal lives of Kiwis. Nearly two out of five survey respondents (39 percent) use their personal devices (desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets) for work-related activities and close to half say their company does not have policies in place around the use of personal devices for work. This puts both people and companies at greater risk.


"The blurring of the lines between work and personal devices creates entirely new security risks for businesses as cybercriminals have the potential to access even more valuable information," said David Hall, Consumer and SMB Product Marketing Manager, Pacific Region, Symantec.


The Norton Report also found that New Zealanders are incredibly risky with their personal data and security when using social media websites. The report revealed that just over a quarter of the surveyed participants connect with people they do not know on social media and one in four share their social media passwords with others as well. 


In addition, some 15 percent of surveyed respondents save both their work and personal documents to the same online file storage account. Furthermore, nearly one in 10 people are sharing their work information with their friends and family via these sites.


"Like we have seen with mobile devices, the oversharing of information, whether it is on social media platforms or online file storage accounts, is creating a risk for businesses and consumers alike. The more places work documents are saved and personal information is shared, the more avenues it creates for cybercriminals to gain access to valuable business and personal information," added Hall.


Top Tips for Staying Safe Online

  • Defend Your Data: Install a comprehensive security suite for all devices and regularly update your security patches for all devices
  • Be Aware of Device Policies for Work: Understand the rules and policies around using your personal devices at work and vice versa
  • Be Cautious in the Cloud: While cloud solutions make it easier to save and share files, be careful who can access them and what information is shared
  • Share Personal Information on a Secure Connection: Take care with sharing personal information through the Internet, unless it is a secure connection. Always check for "https" in the web address
  • After You Connect, Double Check: Check your credit card and bank statements regularly for any suspicious transactions and report them to your service provider, your financial institution and the police
  • Have a Strong Password: Use strong passwords for all devices and change them regularly
  • Protect Your Social Network: Take a moment to check your privacy settings on all your social media accounts and where possible install two factor authentication.

For more findings from the 2013 Norton Report globally and by country, please visit: symantec.com/norton-report-2013.


For more information on Norton's mobile protection offerings, please go here.


About the Norton Report

The Norton Report (formerly the Norton Cybercrime Report) is one of the world's largest consumer cybercrime studies, based on self-reported experiences of more than 13,000 adults across 24 countries, aimed at understanding how cybercrime affects consumers, and how the adoption and evolution of new technologies impacts consumers' security.


About Symantec

Symantec protects the world's information, and is a global leader in security, backup and availability solutions. Our innovative products and services protect people and information in any environment – from the smallest mobile device, to the enterprise data centre, to cloud-based systems. Our world-renowned expertise in protecting data, identities and interactions gives our customers confidence in a connected world. More information is available at www.symantec.com or by connecting with Symantec at @SymantecANZ.


Norton Report Methodology

Between 4 July, 2013 and 1 August, 2013, Edelman Berland conducted online interviews with 13,022 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, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America). The margin of error for the total sample of adults (n=13,022 is 0.9 per cent at the 95 per cent level of confidence. 1,000 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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[1] Norton Report, October 2013, go.symantec.com/Norton-report-2013

@Symantec