Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Six ways cyber harm hits your pocket and your heart

Cyber harm affects Cybercitizens through monetary losses, reputational damage, emotional distress, lost jobs, higher product cost and lost business opportunities. In an era of increased digitization most Cybercitizens accept or tolerate these losses as part and parcel of the use of Internet as the benefits far outweigh the risks.  In many cases Cybercitizens are unaware of the risk until they fall victim to cyber crooks.

Monetary losses
Cyber crooks use a wide variety of con tricks to steal money from cybercitizen through email scams, frauds and identity theft. Reports estimate that the average loss to an individual is around 500 us $. A part of these losses may be compensated by credit card companies or financial institutions which absorbs them as the cost of doing business.

Reputational damage
Professionals are most affected by online comments made by customers, foes or even competitors on their professional capabilities. These turn away prospective customers, dilute eminence and result in lost income. Most of the reputational websites lack methods to verify the trueness of online comments as the identity of the person who made the comment is not known.

Emotional distress
The pain of falling victim to scamsters, trolls, cyber bullies, pedophiles and other nasties online who indulge in personal attacks as well as of ex partners and friends posting private pictures online cannot be easily quantified. At the very least, vulnerable individuals and children have to spend for medical aid.

Lost jobs
Corporate espionage results in the loss of intellectual property and business confidential information which leads to increased competition from foreign manufacturing firms. Such competition reduces the profitability of businesses resulting in job cuts which forces individuals into unemployment or lower paying jobs. Estimates suggest that for each billion of lost revenue around 5000 jobs are made redundant.

Higher product cost
Purchasing goods online normally saves money and time. A lack of trust in making payments online restricts the use of the Internet for ecommerce. The only alternative is to make purchases from stores at a higher rate

Lost business
The entry barrier to a small business is typically know how and relationships not capital. If a competitor is able to hack customer lists, buying and selling rates as well as manufacturing and assembly plans, a competitive business could easily be set up.

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