Hackers Bet Big On Unsafe Online Behavior Of Indians: Report

by CXOtoday News Desk    Nov 17, 2016


Despite of growing number of online scams and cyber attacks, Indian users still lacks a complete online security awareness. A recent report by Norton has revealed that users who were victims of cybercrime within the past year often continued their unsafe behavior. While these consumers were equally likely to use a password on every account, they were over twice as likely to share their password with others, negating their efforts, the report said. 

Norton by Symantec, today released the India findings from the annual Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, which sheds light on the truth about online crime and the personal effect it has on consumers. 

According to the report, 79 percent of consumers know they must actively protect their information online, but they still share passwords and engage in other risky behavior. Additionally, close to one in five (18 percent) consumers have at least one unprotected device, leaving their other devices vulnerable to ransomware, malicious websites, zero days and phishing attacks. While quoting various reasons for not protecting their devices, 36 percent said they don’t do anything “risky” online, and 23 percent believed security measures would slow them down.

“Our findings show that people are increasingly growing aware of the need to protect their personal information online, but aren’t motivated to take adequate precautions to stay safe,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Norton by Symantec. “While consumers remain complacent, hackers are refining their skills and adapting their scams to further take advantage of people, making the need for consumers to take some action increasingly important”, he added. 

Amongst those surveyed, a vast majority (85 percent) of Indians have Wi-Fi in their homes. People who experienced cybercrime within the past year were more likely to be concerned about the security of their home Wi-Fi network (79 percent vs. 70 percent non-victims), yet less likely to password protect their home Wi-Fi network than non-victims (28 percent vs. 10 percent of non-victims have unprotected networks). Only 56 percent of consumers knew how to determine whether the Wi-Fi network they are using is secure; this is of concern especially, since 22 percent of respondents agreed to have used their neighbor’s Wi-Fi network without their permission. Additionally, when it comes to public Wi-Fi, one in four (27 percent) regularly use public Wi-Fi connections available at airports, coffee shops, etc., the report said.

Despite half of respondents believing they are likely to have their identity stolen after entering account or personal information on public Wi-Fi, in order to gain access to public Wi-Fi consumers are willing to give in to actions such as answering a survey question (58 percent), installing a third-party app (35 percent), provide access to files while online (21 percent) or even turning off security software (19 percent).

65 percent of Indian consumers surveyed don’t believe there are enough connected device users for it to be a worthwhile target for hackers. Yet, 68 percent believe that just as hackers learnt to benefit from targeting social media and financial accounts, they are on their way to learning how accessing connected home devices can be lucrative.

According to the report Indians rank high in terms of falling prey to ransomware. One in three (33 percent) Indians have either experienced ransomware themselves or know someone who has. Of those who have experienced ransomware, 83 percent of the victims did so in the past one year alone, indicating a steady rise of this menace. 27 percent of these victims actually paid the ransom to gain access to their files. Proving that paying the ransom is no guarantee, 26 percent victims paid ransom, but could not retrieve their files.

“Cybercrime isn’t going away and users must reject complacency to adequately protect themselves. By adopting a few basic behaviours, we can make big strides in mitigating cybercrime risk.” added Chopra.

As a starting point, Norton recommends the following best practices:

# Avoid Password Promiscuity

# Don’t Go On a Phishing Expedition

# Do Not Pay the Ransom and Backup

# Be in Control When Online

# Know the Ins and Outs Of Public Wi-Fi Networks

# Tidy Your (Dis) Connected Home