Web Users Not Doing Enough to Protect Data: Report

Brandon Dimmel's picture

A new report suggests that consumers are concerned about digital security threats -- like the rapidly spreading 'Backoff' malware -- but very few make any changes in an effort to better protect their most sensitive information. The report comes from Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab, which recently carried out an online survey of 11,000 people based in 23 countries. (Source: kaspersky.com)

Kaspersky's survey revealed that over three-quarters of all respondents use several devices to connect to the Internet. About one in four respondents said they do most of their Internet browsing using a tablet or smartphone rather than a laptop or desktop computer.

Most People Make Financial Transactions Online

Most importantly, the survey revealed that nine in ten people store critical information, such as financial data, on all of the devices they use to connect to the Internet. The survey also showed that just under half of respondents expressed concern that their most sensitive information might be compromised or exposed by hackers, while 60 per cent said they feared their information might be stolen.

Eight in ten of the respondents said they regularly carry out financial transactions online, with four in ten doing so using mobile devices. When asked who was responsible for protecting their data, most respondents pointed elsewhere -- to banks, online retailers, or the companies responsible for overseeing transactions. In other words, few respondents acknowledged that they too were responsible for making sure their most critical data stayed safe.

Users Struggling to Shake Unsafe Browsing Habits, Survey Shows

In fact, most of the respondents (about 60 per cent) said they do not take any precautions when connecting to unprotected public WiFi networks. Perhaps most alarming is the revelation that only one in four of the respondents said they use different passwords for each of their online accounts, meaning many were using the same password to access their email, banking, and social media accounts. (Source: pcworld.com)

Interestingly, the survey showed that people aged 35 and older were the least careful when it came to creating unique passwords for each of their accounts. Almost one in three people in this age group admitted to using the same password for all of their online resources, while only one in four people under age 35 admitted to doing this. (Source: kaspersky.com)

What's Your Opinion?

Do you feel like people need to be more careful about protecting the information they store online? Do you use different passwords for all of your online accounts? What are the best practices you employ to help keep your computer and data safe while connected to the Internet and computer networks?

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blueboxer2's picture

Financial transactions are basically carried out from only one of the five active computers around the house. No computer has account data or passwords stored on it; it's in a secure offline location elsewhere.

Having been asked for passwords for good cause or none ever since I got on the net (with Netscape and Windows 3.1) and having visited (and often bookmarked) websites out the wazoo, I've run out of original and unique passwords to paste in when suddenly challenged, so I do have some duplication. I know it's dangerous, but I can indulge my paranoia only so far - eventually my memory gives up. So I will minimize mt risks with good defences, cautious surfing, and backups - but I will never inhabit any security pro's nirvana; it stops where my comfort does.

spiras's picture

...to generate strong, unique passwords and store them, at least for sensitive things like banks, Medicare, government agencies or other services which I value and/or wish to keep confidential and secure. For other websites I use one standard easy-to-remember password. I think that's a practical and acceptable compromise.

postalmm_3166's picture

I drink Coke products. Under the caps there are random codes for contest entries. They make excellent passwords. If you look around there are all types of codes on all kinds of products that you could use. You could even use your vehicle identification code or a serial number. All you have to do is get creative.