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33 and 28

33 and 28

By Matt Harakal

 

Remember the numbers 33 and 28.

These two numbers are very significant when it comes to identity theft and protecting your financial information online.

According to a startling new study from cyber security firm RiskIQ, 33 percent of all websites housing stolen movies and television shows contain malware, software designed to deliberately harm users.

What this means is that 33 percent of these websites have malware designed to steal a user’s bank and credit card information, commit identity theft, or lock a user’s computer and demand a ransom to free it.

And the 28? The same study found that consumers are 28 times more likely to get malware from a website housing illegal stolen content than they are on similarly visited mainstream websites or licensed content providers.

According to the study, malware distribution from content theft websites brings criminals a whopping $70 million a year. It’s become a serious business.

This study is another example of why consumers need to be careful online.

From using stolen digital content to selling physical counterfeit goods, criminals are going online more often to hit consumers where it hurts, GIPC’s David Hirschmann recently outlined in a piece for CNN.com.

Don’t fall victim.

Click here for a few tips to help avoid these sites and scams.