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Cybercrime siphons $3 billion in e-commerce revenue
ThreatMetrix created an infographic illustrating the impact of cybercrime on e-commerce, along with some tips for consumers and retail websites.
Do you shop online? Of course you do—this is 2013. Who hasn’t bought a few things from Amazon by now? In fact, e-commerce is a huge business projected to rake in $1.2 trillion—with a “T”—in revenue this year.
The size of the e-commerce market also makes it a prime target for cybercriminals. An estimated $3 billion of revenue is lost each year to cybercrime. Granted, $3 billion is a fraction of a drop in a $1.2 trillion bucket, but it’s still a lot of cash. It’s $3 billion that could make sure jobs aren’t cut, or enable companies to provide better benefits for employees, or at least be invested in a more efficient infrastructure to improve the e-commerce process for both the retailer and the customer. It’s a lot of money.
That money is the equivalent of the annual household income for 60,000 families in the United States. ThreatMetrix put together an infographic that illustrates what that $3 billion looks like in the real world. Dividing the $3 billion loss among the top five online retailers, you could buy five million Kindles from Amazon, 15 million cases of paper from Staples, three million iPhones from Apple, 600 million colored pencils from Walmart, and two million fake gemstone rings from QVC.
So, how do we stop the bleeding and keep more of that $3 billion in the hands it belongs in?
Businesses that conduct transactions online need to be vigilant about security. Transactions should be screened to monitor for suspicious activity such as spoofed browser settings, or proxies that hide the customer’s true location. Transaction activity should be encrypted in transit, and all customer and transaction data should be securely encrypted on the company servers.
From a customer perspective, individuals should only conduct business with websites that have a solid reputation, and have sites with secure, encrypted checkout. Use unique usernames and passwords at different sites so that a compromise of one site doesn’t have a cascade effect impacting all of your online activity, and don’t ever enter any credentials—especially bank or credit card information—when using a public WiFi network like at a Starbucks.
We’ll never completely eradicate cybercrime, but we should all do everything we can to raise the cost of entry—making it more difficult and more expensive for the bad guys to engage in cybercrime, and we should all take steps to minimize the adverse impact of cybercrime.
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