According to the recent release of Symantec’s Norton Cybercrime Report 2011, global cybercrime costs nearly $400 billion and affects 431 million adult victims annually. The report said on top of the $114 billion in money stolen, cybercrime costs victims an additional $274 billion in time lost — putting the total price tag for Internet-based crimes to $388 billion annually.
Here are some tips for protecting your privacy on the internet:
- Realize the cost/benefit anytime you provide your personal information online. “For instance, social media, such as Facebook, may allow you to connect with friends and family across the country,” Blevins said. “At the same time, you are potentially giving up lots of private information about your personal life.”
- Be aware of the privacy settings on all social media that you use, and check them frequently in case the operator has changed them.
- Use the “cookie” notices on your web browser. “All cookies aren’t necessarily bad, especially for websites that you like to visit frequently,” said Blevins. “However, you don’t have to accept all cookies, especially for new sites, or those you may not trust.”Use an email address and login ID that does not include personal information. “For instance, you may think that you are leaving an anonymous post or comment that just includes your login ID,” he said. “However, if your login ID includes your last name and the year you were born, it may be easy to infer who is the author of your post.”
- Beware of any site that offers you some prize for providing your personal information. “Most likely it will be used for direct marketing purposes, but it might also be used for fraudulent activity.
- Make a habit of reading and reviewing the privacy policies of all sites with which you do business.