Rise in online phishing scams and other attacks are driving the global identity theft expenditures to $5bn in 2013, a new Microsoft report revealed.
According to the third annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), the cost of fixing the damage to individuals' online reputation reached $6bn, or an average of $632 per loss.
Of the overall 10,000 consumers surveyed on the international Safer Internet Day, about 15% were hit with phishing attack, losing an average $158, while 13% lost their professional reputation and have spent $535 in mending it, with further 9% suffering identity theft.
Microsoft chief online safety officer Jacqueline Beauchere said that internet touches everyone's lives every day that allows sending email to stay connected, share photos and videos, pay bills, and shop.
"Sometimes, though, the very experiences that we love about the Internet put us at risk," Beauchere said.
Despite experiencing such losses, about 36% limited the data viewed by strangers on social networks and personal data online, while 33% adjudged their social network privacy settings.
About 33% of the respondents used a personal identification number (PIN) or password to protect their mobile devices.
"There are many things you can do to stay safer online. If we all do just one thing, imagine how much safer we all will be, together," Beauchere added.
"Go to our website to share your one thing. Tell the world that you're committed to helping keep the Internet safer and more secure.
"And once you do, you'll be part of that positive change."
Further, the US software major has advised individuals to use a PIN to protect mobile devices and tough passwords for all of their online accounts.
In addition, people are suggested to regularly review the information posted about them online and remove outdated things that damage their reputation.