Microsoft research on February 6, released its Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI) findings, which gathered responses from more than 11,000 people in 27 countries to examine their adoption of proven online tools and behaviours -- highlights that "78% of respondents have basic online security protection, but are less knowledgeable about how to defend against cybercrime threats that rely on deception such as phishing, identity theft and fraudulent links."
"The average MCSI score across all 27 countries was 44, and hints at a shift in potential exposure from software-based threats towards more socially engineered threats."
"The survey shows that while many consumers are using firewalls, anti-virus software and strong passwords, further education is needed on the actions and tools that can help protect against socially engineered threats that deceive victims to steal from them. Over half (56 per cent) of respondents do not educate themselves about preventing identity theft and 73 per cent do not educate themselves about the latest steps to protect their online reputation," Microsoft Small Business notes.
Key findings of MCSI includes:
- "Over 57% respondent said they run software updates and/or turn on automatic updates
- Over 39% don't educate themselves on protecting their online reputation or preventing and correcting identify theft
- 61% have created passwords using upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
- Over 51% have conducted transactions on reputable sites only
- When asked how to protect their security online, half said they've turned and left on their firewall.
- Only 18% installed anti-virus or spyware software on their mobile phones
- Over 69% of 14-24 year olds changed their social networking privacy settings to limit what information they share (double then 34% of the 45-59 age group)
- 62% of 14-24 year olds create screen names and/or gamer tags that're not their real name. They also scored highest (68%) in creating passwords using upper and lower case letters, numbers and/or symbols.
- 87% of 30-44 year olds scored highest in installing anti-virus/spyware/malware software. 61% of 30-44 year olds also said they run software updates and/or turn on automatic updates.
- Males ranked higher in the overall Index with an average score of 45.02 compared to females at 42.52. The results showed that males are more likely to run software updates, leave firewalls on and use phishing and web browser filters than females.
- Non-parents ranked higher across the majority of online safety areas compared to parents," revealed Microsoft.