Cybercrime is a fear for just about everyone, from individuals fearing identity theft to large corporation guarding sensitive data. The question is, how valid is this fear? It is a question that was raised recently in an Economist article and it makes it clear that politicians are not the only ones who misuse and abuse numbers.
Claims have been made that cybercrime is bigger than the drug trade and that it costs a trillion dollars annually. Most of these figures come from firms who specialize in preventing cybercrime...in other words the same folks who will benefit if people feel the need to protect themselves from cybercrime. These figures are generally not questioned, either out of numerical ignorance or the belief (probably correct) that big numbers scare people and help to sell newspapers (or in today's world web hits).