Over half vulnerable to cyber attack, says survey

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Almost half of internet users are putting themselves at risk of a cyber-attack through a lack of online safety and awareness, a recent report suggests.

The survey, taken out by the government, asked over 600 people their online security habits, in which it was revealed that 53% of internet users have the same password for various online accounts.

Despite two-thirds of respondents (66%) saying they felt confident with their online safety, almost all of those questioned (91%) said they had received a fraudulent email of some kind.

Moreover, it was also revealed that almost 40% did not know how to report a cyber-crime.

Taking passwords seriously

Bryan Beesley, a cybercrime expert, said that although “everyone hates long passwords”, it is important to make them more “complex”, so hackers find it harder to attack internet users.

He also gave the advice not to be predictable in passwords, like using birthdays or pet names. Beesley also suggests using a “password manager”, which is a device that generates and stores complex passwords that are harder to decode.

Of those who choose to write passwords down, he says that they should be put in places that are not easy to find.

Staying safer online

Regarding suspicious emails, Beesley said that people need to be aware of oddities in messages such as mis-spelling of addresses.

31% of people say they do not set their software updates automatically. Beesley warns that people “don’t do their updates quickly enough”. He also spoke about the importance of software and app updates being about security and assisting with fixing potential flaws.

As a response to the survey results, authorities will host a conference about cybersecurity to increase people’s awareness of the topic.

The survey also found that Facebook was the most popular social media platform and that most people access the internet on their mobile phones.

 

 

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