If cybercrime was an official industry, it would be one of the most lucrative sectors on the planet. Indeed, it’s estimated to cost the world more than $10.5 trillion every year by 2025. Americans may be shocked to hear that the USA is the country that’s targeted more than anywhere else in the world.
According to research into the top 20 countries for cybercrime, the US is way out in the lead with 23 percent of malicious computer activity occurring here. China is in second place with nine percent and Germany closes the top three with six percent. These statistics highlight how people in the USA need to strengthen their security measures online.
Weak Passwords are a Key Contributor to the Success of Cybercriminals
One of the most common strategies for hackers is to break passwords and steal people’s personal data. This often comes in the form of mass data breaches at popular sites. In recent years, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook have all fallen victim to mass cyberattacks. More than one billion users from the three sites combined had their data stolen.
American internet users tend to make life easy for hackers by using passwords that are easy to guess. An infographic from ExpressVPN highlights how the most popular password in the USA is “iloveyou.” This offers virtually no protection and can’t stand up against the high-tech tools cybercriminals now have at their disposal.
Why is the USA the Worst Country for Cybercrime?
It’s not just the USA that has weak passwords in place but, judging by the level of cybercrime, a high proportion of people here use them. The results of the research could be skewed slightly, though, as many of the world’s biggest internet companies are based in the USA. So, when the likes of Yahoo, Myspace, and Facebook have been hacked, these figures have gone against the USA.
The USA is also a prime target for foreign cybercriminals that want to disrupt its economy. Russian hackers, for instance, have been known to attack US banks in the past. They’ve also penetrated sensitive information from the White House, highlighting how even the most secure places are at risk.
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What Steps Can you Make to Ensure You are Safe Online?
Internet users have a responsibility to help reduce the risk of cybercrime, and this starts with choosing a stronger password. It should be more than 12 characters and needs to consist of random numbers, letters, and symbols. You don’t need to remember the different codes either, instead, you can download a free password manager.
At sites where you need to key in credit card details or other important information, you should always activate two-factor authentication for added security. It’s clear that people in the USA need to be more cautious online than people from other countries. If you feel that your security protocols online are insufficient, you should try to reinforce them as much as possible.