84% Malaysians face risk, yet only 23% take proactive steps to help protect themselves online.
In conjunction with international Safer Internet Day, Microsoft released the results of its second annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), revealing that 84 percent of Malaysians face multiple online risks, yet only 23 percent say they take proactive steps to help protect themselves and their data. This year the MCSI also examined mobile safety behaviors, uncovering that only 32 percent of Malaysians run software updates on their personal computers, and only 33 percent run regular updates on their mobile devices, potentially compounding their risk.
The MCSI also revealed that only 39 percent of Malaysians avoid using open Wi-Fi hotspots on their mobile devices and only 46 percent use secure websites. “Personal information is a valuable commodity to criminals and, just like your home computer, your mobile device is equally attractive to hackers. You can help protect your data by installing automatic updates, locking your mobile device with a password or PIN, and using only secure wireless networks,” added Dr. Dzahar, who stressed the importance of being aware of mobile threats as well as taking the best preventive measures to protect oneself.
Other key findings from the MCSI include the following:
· 55% of Malaysians educate themselves on preventing identity theft, with only fifty-one percent of Malaysians worry about theft of password or account information
· 33% of Malaysians said they worry about computer viruses yet only an equal percent turn and leave on their firewalls
· 25% of Malaysians said they worry about having their identity stolen, yet only fifty-four percent have a PIN (personal identification number) to unlock their mobile device
The MCSI findings highlight the important need for Malaysians to take online and digital security more seriously. In fact, at a recent joint event with Microsoft, Razman Azrai Zainuddin, Vice President of Industry Development, CyberSecurity Malaysia revealed that the total incidents reported to its Cyber999 hotline – a service provided for Malaysians to report computer security incidents – was 9,155 cases from January to November 2012, amounting to a cumulative average growth rate (CAGR) of more than 200 percent over the past three years. Of these reported incidents, the bulk of it were intrusion (at 3,924) and fraud (at 3,676) incidents.
Microsoft offers a range of online safety tools and resources at http://www.Microsoft.com/security, including the following practical steps consumers can take to stay safer online:
· Lock your computer and accounts with strong passwords and your mobile phone with a unique, four-digit PIN.
· Do not pay bills, bank, shop or conduct other sensitive business on a public computer, or on your
laptop or mobile phone over “borrowed” or public Wi-Fi (such as a hotspot).
· Watch for snoops. People scouting for passwords, PINs, user names or other such data may be watching your fingers or the screen as you enter that data.
· Treat suspicious messages cautiously. Avoid offers too good to be true and be wary of their senders, even if the messages appear to come from a trusted source.
· Look for signs that a Web page is secure and legitimate. Before you enter sensitive data, check for evidence of encryption (e.g., a Web address with “https” and a closed padlock beside it or in the lower right corner of the window).
Reduce spam in your inbox. Share your primary email address and instant messaging name only with people you know or with reputable organizations. Avoid listing them on your social network page, in Internet directories (such as white pages) or on job-posting sites.
The MCSI surveyed more than 10,000 PC, smartphone and tablet users in 20 countries and regions about their personal approach to online safety and assigned a point scale of 0 to 100 based on their answers. The global average score was 34 for PC online safety and 40 for mobile. An abbreviated version of the MCSI is available at Microsoft Computing Safety Index Survey for people to check how savvy they are when it comes to online safety.
Countries surveyed in the MCSI were Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.