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Study: Arizona ranks seventh-worst in US for cyber crime

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, file photo, Tashalee Rodriguez, of Boston, uses a smartphone app while shopping at Macy's in downtown Boston. For the first time, analysts predict more than half of online traffic to retailer sites will come from smartphones than desktops during the busy Black Friday holiday shopping weekend. And though it’s still a small fraction of online revenue, mobile sales are jumping too. Larger phone sizes, improved retailer apps, more online deals and shoppers’ increasing comfort with shopping online are driving the trend. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

PHOENIX — Arizona was ranked as the seventh-worst state in the nation for cyber crime, according to a recent study.

The study showed that more than 60,500 Arizonans reported cyber crimes and those crimes cost the state more than $20 million last year.

The study also found that adults over the age of 60, and in particular men, were the most common victims.

According to the report, men were more likely to fall victim to cyber crime than women nationwide. It also stated that men spend more money shopping online then women.

Although seventh may seem like a poor ranking for Arizona, neighboring states California, Nevada and New Mexico were all ranked worse. California was the top-ranked state for cyber attacks, while Nevada came in at third and New Mexico fifth.

Since the record-breaking Cyber Monday in 2016, when $3.39 billion was spent in the U.S. e-commerce marketplace, cyber security has become an important issue for more Americans and Arizonans. It was reported that 80 percent of Americans with internet access made online purchases in the last month alone.

The study suggested preventing becoming a victim by using secure passwords, private Wi-Fi networks and avoid clicking on suspicious URL links.

Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, is typically a gold mine for malicious cyber attacks. Last year, cyber attacks increased by 40 percent on that day.

Statisticians used information from the 2015 FBI crime database and the 2016 FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center database for the study. The group analyzed crimes of fraud and identity theft, which can then lead to fraud.

The study was conducted by Private Tunnel which is a branch of OpenVPN, a software company specializing in private networks, firewalls, and cyber security.

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