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Cybercrime risk is highest in these U.S. cities

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If you're traveling to, or live in, Washington, D.C. you'll want to be extra careful when you go online.

If you're traveling to, or live in, Washington, D.C. you'll want to be extra careful when you go online.

That's because, in the United States, the city with the highest risk for cybercrime is D.C., according to a new study from Symantec, the maker of the Norton PC security products.

Here's the top 10 cities with the highest cybercrime threat:

1. Washington, D.C.
2. Seattle
3. San Francisco
4. Atlanta
5. Boston
6. Denver
7. Minneapolis
8. Sacramento, Calif.
9. Raleigh, N.C.
10. Austin, Texas

And the complete list is here.

The per-capita rankings accounted for a number of consumer behaviors, including: the prevalence of PCs and smartphones, ecommerce, social networking, and access to potentially unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots.

Here's what the study had to say about D.C., the riskiest city for cybercrime:

"Washington, D.C., placed exceptionally high in almost all the categories measuring potential risk, and had the second-highest reported usage of smartphones. The nation’s capital also ranked high among cybercrime data factors, including attempted malware infections and attempted Web attacks."

But the study also points out that there isn't a correlation between the top risk cities and the cities with the highest infection rates, meaning people are generally more cautious in the higher ranking cities.

So if you're traveling to, or live in, one of these cities, or you just want to protect yourself from cybercrime, Norton suggests reducing your threat by taking extra caution when using Wi-Fi hotspots and creating complex and unique passwords for each site.

Of course we wouldn't have to worry about cybercrime if protecting ourselves from it were that easy, but they're definitely good strategies to follow.

Photo: Erik J. Gustafson/Flickr

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure