According to the MCSI survey, the annual worldwide impact of phishing and various forms of identity theft could be as high as $5 billion-worth, with the cost of repairing damage to peoples' online reputation higher yet at nearly $6 billion, or an estimated average of $632 per loss, the statement said.
The company surveyed more than 10,000 consumers globally. Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Feb 11 is Safer Internet Day.
"The Internet touches our lives every day, whether we are communicating with loved ones, for work, shopping, and paying bills. But how cautious are we about monitoring our online presence, and taking note of our own vulnerabilities? There are many things you can do to stay safer online," said Prakash Kumar, national technology officer, Microsoft India Pvt. Ltd.
To mark the Safer Internet Day, Google India has launched "Good to Know", a nationwide campaign to raise awareness about staying safe online as well.
"Through the Good to Know campaign, we want to help equip millions of new Internet users coming online in India with the knowledge and tools needed to become responsible digital citizens," Chetan Krishnaswamy, country head - public policy, Google India said.
"Internet safety begins with exercising meaningful choices when online, having an open conversation about it with our families, and teaching them the basics such as using strong, unique passwords and not sharing personal information."