Here’s an odd statistic: according to the Norton Cybercrime Report, if you’ve experienced an online crime in the last year, you’re more likely to have also been the victim of a real world crime. While 9 per cent of people who haven’t managed to suffer identify theft or a virus had been a victim of burglary, robbing or violence, that figure jumps to 17 per cent for people who has been victims of electronic crimes.
Correlation doesn’t imply causation, but I couldn’t resist asking Norton’s internet safety advocate Marian Merritt why she thought there was such a difference. Her answer: “Clearly these people aren’t taking enough care in their real-world interactions and it carries over in their online world.”The report covered 20,000 people, including 800 in Australia. While the top three online crimes worldwide were viruses, scams and phishing, in Australia the top three were viruses, online credit card fraud and hacking of a social networking profile. While that suggests we’re ahead of the curve when it comes to using and abusing social networking and online banking, the fact that viruses top the charts suggests that people are not following even basic security precautions. Still.
Since this is an observational study, we cannot conclude causation, but I find the link odd. I’m not sure how you could really plan a randomized experiment to test possible causes of the link, but I think that the idea that lack of care is the underlying cause for each might not be far off.