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There's a crime wave going on, but it's not on the streets. Today, more than ever, criminals are hitting you where you least suspect it — through your computer. This new trend in illicit activity is called "cybercrime", and if you don't protect yourself it could be coming to a computer near you.
According to Symantec's 2006 Internet Security Threat Report, cybercrime is on the rise and the techniques used to propagate it are becoming more diverse and more sophisticated. Just in the last few years, a new type of cyberscam has emerged called "phishing."
While the methods of today's online bandits may have changed, the goals haven't. Cybercriminals, just like other thieves, want to steal your stuff. They want your confidential information, your financial documents and anything else they can parlay into a quick buck.
The annual cost of computer–related crime is staggering. According to a 2006 FBI study, cybercrime costs US businesses $67.2 billion per year. That's a whole lot of moolah. $67 billion would be good enough to land cybercrime at the #20 spot on the Fortune 500 — if, of course, it was an actual company.
"When we're looking at the broader picture of phishing, fraud, spyware and viruses, it really does impact everybody equally, from home users all the way up to large enterprises," said Vincent Weafer of Symantec.