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Cyber Crime Costing Global Economy Billions

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Cybercrime costs £266bn every year – about as much as the global drugs trade – according to a new report revealed exclusively by Sky News.

Computer security company McAfee said that cybercrime is worth 0.8% of the global economy.

And if cybercrime was a country, its GDP would rank 27th – above Singapore, Austria and Denmark.

The UK ranked fifth in the G20 countries most affected, with an annual loss of £6.8bn as a result of cybercrime.

One British company told officials that it had incurred revenue losses of £770m because of one attack, through the loss of intellectual property.

The report also suggests that cybercrime leads to 150,000 job losses in Europe every year.

It warns that “the cost of cybercrime will continue to increase as more business functions move online and as more companies and consumers around the world connect to the internet”.

Last year, 93% of large corporations and 87% of small to medium sized companies suffered data breaches, with the average cost of an attack worth £770,000 and £60,000 respectively.

Raj Samani, chief technical officer of McAfee EMEA, told Sky News: “In the past, studies such as this have relied on surveys.

“We commissioned a think-tank to work with economists and intellectual property lawyers, as well as the security industry, to understand the true impact of cybercrime.”

The vast majority of people and business use the internet without any problems. However anyone can fall prey to cyber crime if they do not take basic security precautions when online. Here are some of the best ways to keep safe online:

– No bank or card issuer will contact you by email and ask you to enter all your personal and financial details online. If you receive this message like this, report it to your bank, then delete it 

– If you receive an email from an unknown source, do not open it and do not click on any of the attachments

– Make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date 

– Install an anti-spyware package 

– Always use a firewall 

– Ensure that your software is up to date