Mexico was ranked third in a worldwide survey carried out by US security firm Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) in terms of the percentage of the adult population affected by cybercrime.
At 83% of the online adults affected in their lives, Mexico trailed in the dubious ranking behind China (85%) and South Africa (84%).
Brazil tied in fourth place, at 80%, with Singapore and India. No other countries in Latin America were considered in the study, for which nearly 20,000 people were interviewed from 24 countries between February and March this year.
According to the Norton Cybercrime Report 2011, on a worldwide level, 69% of online adults have been a victim of cybercrime in their lifetime. The combined cost of global cybercrime between financial losses and time lost reaches an annual US$388bn - more than the global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined (US$288bn) - Symantec noted, and approaching the value of all global drug trafficking (US$411bn).
"Countries like South Africa and Brazil, where physical crimes against people are among the highest in the world, are clearly emerging as cybercrime capitals, too," said Adam Palmer, Norton lead cyber security adviser. "The results also show that geography and language are no barrier to cybercriminals, who we know are based in a diverse number of malicious host countries."
The Symantec report also found that 10% of adults online have been victims of cybercrime on their mobile phone -a growing trend as unscrupulous actors take advantage of increasing social networking and a lack of protection in this format. The study found that there were 42% more vulnerabilities in 2010 when compared to 2009.
Use this link for access to the full report.