Norton Debuts New Security Software, Reveals Cybercrime Pisses Off Victims

Symantec this morning released two new security software products, Norton AntiVirus 2011 and Norton Internet Security 2011.

Coinciding with the release, the company has also published its latest cybercrime report, dubbed The Norton Cybercrime Report: The Human Impact. The company claims two-thirds (65 percent) of global Internet users have already fallen victim to cybercrimes, which includes computer viruses, online credit card fraud and identity theft.

I’ll say it right off the bat: Symantec just so happens to sell security software, and they have new products to promote, so it’s in their best interest to scare people into awareness and try and push them into purchasing mode. Take any research findings from commercial companies with a big grain of salt, always.

That said, cybercrime is prevalent, there’s no question about that. I can imagine the 65 percent of global Internet users is likely close to the truth, and suspect that percentage to increase for the foreseeable future.

Zooming in on nations, Symantec claims almost three-quarters (73 percent) of U.S. Web surfers have fallen victim to cybercrimes, ranking it third according to Symantec (fourth according to myself), behind China (83 percent) and Brazil and India (both 76 percent).

The company also surveyed 7,000 Web users in order to assess the emotional impact of cybercrime. The study shows that victims’ strongest reactions are feeling angry (58 percent), annoyed (51 percent) and cheated (40 percent), and in many cases, they blame themselves for being attacked.

Only 3 percent don’t think it will happen to them, and nearly 80 percent do not expect cybercriminals to be brought to justice, which Symantec says ironically results in a reluctance to take action and a sense of helplessness.

Only half (51 percent) of adults saying they would change their behavior if they became a victim. Fewer than half (44 percent) reported the crime to the police.

Also, nearly half of respondents assume it’s legal to download a content such as music and movies without paying, which Symantec posits opens people up to a range of security threats.

Again, Symantec wants you to buy Norton products, but it’d be foolish to dismiss that cybercrime is a genuine security threat, and a growing one at that. Buy (or use any free) security software you wish if you haven’t already done so, and make sure to update it regularly – it’s worth the money and hassle. And if you do get hit with a virus or malware, or fall victim to identity theft, sexual predation or credit card fraud, report it to the authorities.

There’s no way cybercrimes are going to be stopped any time soon, but we should at least try and stop making it easier for scammers by not taking action.