WASHINGTON — The worldwide scourge of cybercrime afflicted 689 million people in the past year, or more than twice the population of the United States, a California anti-virus software maker reported Wednesday.

Yet those hit by cybercrime often remain complacent, even sharing their passwords with friends, says a survey from Norton by Symantec, the security software maker.

Computer users know they are taking risks in using public Wi-Fi but do it anyway because it is so convenient at coffee shops, airports, hotels, libraries and other places, the survey found.

And using Wi-Fi only in exclusive hotels or restaurants is no guarantee.

Hackers are more likely to seek out those Wi-Fi signals, said Fran Rosch, executive vice president of Norton by Symantec. Hotels and other buildings with controlled access offer no protection from hackers.

“They can be in the parking lot and do as much damage as the person in the hotel room next to yours,” Rosch said.

Consumers should use extreme caution over what they check online over Wi-Fi, he said.

“If you want to read the newspaper, no problem. Go for it. If you want to read your Facebook feed, no problem. But you probably don’t want to log on to your bank account,” Rosch said.

For victims, the costs are high. Average victims spent 19.7 hours trying to deal with losses or damages related to cybercrime, such as waiting on hold to cancel credit cards or deal with banks, the survey found. Cleaning up contaminated computers is also a hassle.

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