While the number of online adults who have experienced cybercrime has decreased, the average cost per victim has risen by 50%.

This is according to findings from the 2013 Norton Report released today by Symantec.

“Today’s cybercriminals are using more sophisticated attacks, such as ransomware and spear-phishing that yield them more money per attack than ever before,” says David Ribiero, Norton consumer and small business manager for South Africa, Symantec.

“With the findings from the Norton Report that 49% of consumers use their personal mobile device for both work and play, this creates entirely new security risks for enterprises as cybercriminals have the potential to access even more valuable information.”

The report also found that, despite the fact that nearly half of all smartphone users care enough about their devices to sleep with them, they are not protecting them. Forty-eight percent of smartphone and tablet users do not take even the basic precautions such as using passwords, having security software or backing up files from their mobile devices. This carelessness places them, and their digital identities, at risk.

“If this was a test, mobile consumers would be failing,” says Marian Merritt, Internet safety advocate at Symantec.

“While consumers are protecting their computers, there is a general lack of awareness to safeguard their smartphones and tablets. It’s as if they have alarm systems for their homes, but they’re leaving their cars unlocked with the windows wide open.”

Key finding from the report for South Africa include:

* 70% of South Africans have been victim of cybercrime and risky behaviour compared to 50% globally;

* 47% of South Africans smartphone users have experienced mobile cybercrime in the past 12 months compared to 38% globally; and

* Only 37% of South African smartphone users have basic free security software compared to 33% globally.