Do you feel safe walking the streets of your hometown? What about browsing the Internet?
Cybersecurity experts at Norton commissioned research firm Sperling’s BestPlaces to examine the cities in the U.S. where 'net users are most vulnerable to cybercrime. The resulting study, titled 2012 Riskiest Online City, assesses the prevalence of Internet use in addition to the types of risks users face online. Consumer statistics include the use of smartphones, the use of social networks and more. BestPlaces also looked at the following cybercrime data: bot-infected computers located within a specific city, attempted malware infections, spamming IP addresses found within a specific city and web attacks originating within a specific city.
Seattle, last year's number one riskiest city, fell to second place on this year's list. According a release emailed to The Huffington Post by Norton, this year's riskiest city (see slideshow) "scored exceptionally high in almost all categories, with the exception of social networking. It was near the top in the number of malware attempts and other cybercrime data and also had the second-highest smartphone use in our survey."
"Cities with the greatest risk factors do not necessarily correlate with the highest infection rates, reflecting the fact that many consumers are taking precautions to keep themselves safe," Norton noted in a press release accompanying the study. Marian Merritt , Norton's Internet Safety Advocate, offers advice to for web users in a video posted on the company's website. She suggests using challenging passwords for all devices and online accounts; surfing the web via secure WiFi networks and avoiding activities like online banking when using open WiFi networks; ignoring too-good-to-be-true offers and promos around the web; using security software for connected devices.
Take a look at the slideshow (below) to see the top 9 riskiest U.S. cities online. Visit Norton's website to see the entire list of the top 50 riskiest cities online, and the riskiest European cities online, too.