Computer Crime Research Center


Cybercrime vs Physical crime

Date: February 06, 2006
By: Jon Van

Internet users believe they are more likely to be victims of a cybercrime than a physical one in the coming year, according to a recent survey.

This growing fear of Internet vulnerability is well founded, computer security experts contend. Whereas most malevolent software was once a form of electronic vandalism, it has become a profit-making venture backed by organized crime.

The survey, commissioned by IBM Corp., found that nearly 40 percent of respondents do not bank online or use credit card information online. Seventy percent said they only shop at Web sites that display a security protection seal.

"They conduct business with companies they know and trust," said Stuart McIrvine, IBM's director of corporate security strategy. "They're wary of Web sites they haven't been to before and wary of Web sites with no advertised security controls."

Also, the survey found that people are taking steps to avoid identity theft and other cyberscams. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they destroy all documents containing personal information or assure those documents are safely stored.

Yet fears about cybercrime are not leading to a slowdown in e-commerce, which continues to boom. Data collected by comScore Networks show that people spent $5.5 billion online in the first three weeks of January for items unrelated to travel. That's a 33 percent increase over the same period a year ago.
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