20% Indians Suffer From Online Phishing Attacks

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 11, 2014


As many as 20% of Indians using the Internet were victims of online phishing attacks and 12% of them suffered identity theft at an average cost of Rs. 7500, as per the third annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), which was published and released in support of the International Safer Internet Day, marked every year on February 11.

The survey revealed the global impact of phishing attacks and other forms of identity theft could be as high as $5 billion per year, with the cost of repairing damage to people’s online reputation even higher at around $6 billion.

The MCSI survey, conducted between March and May 2013, asked consumers to share their online experiences for the past 12 months. the survey measures the online safety behavior of almost 10,500 consumers in 20 countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.

According to the survey, globally, only 34% said they limit what strangers see on social networks and the amount of personal information online, while 38% said they adjust their social network privacy settings. Surprisingly, only 35% use a PIN (personal identification number) or password to lock their mobile device. In India, the report found that of the seven behavioral steps to secure oneself online, Indian respondents adopted an average three steps, and deployed an average of 3.2 technical tools out of a total of 12 available tools.

“The Internet touches our lives every day, whether we are communicating with loved ones, for work, shopping, and paying bills,” said Prakash Kumar, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India.  “But, how cautious are we about monitoring our online presence, and taking note of our own vulnerabilities? There are many things you can do to stay safer online. What is needed is to do just one thing, and we can all be much safer, together.”

Microsoft also issued tips and guidance on the Internet Safety Day, including using a unique 4-digit PIN for mobile devices and strong passwords for online accounts; performing sensitive transactions over secured networks like paying bills, banking or shopping, rather than sharing personal account information over “borrowed” or public wifi connections; discovering what information about you is on the Internet, periodically re-evaluating it, and removing unwanted or inaccurate content to cultivate an accurate, positive reputation; and using privacy settings to manage the information you share.

Google has also introduced a nationwide campaign, “Good to Know”, starting today, to raise awareness on online safety.