Sunday, April 08, 2012

Majority of S'poreans clueless about online security: survey

SINGAPORE: A majority of Singaporeans are clueless about online security, despite being some of Asia-Pacific's heaviest Internet users, according to a recent regional survey conducted by online security provider, Norton by Symantec.

Would you give strangers unlimited access to personal information on your computer, in exchange for US$1 million?

This was the question posed to some 500 Internet users in each of the five countries surveyed - Australia, India, Singapore, Japan and China.

In Singapore, more than 75 per cent said they won't take the money.

That's higher than the overall average of 73 per cent.

The survey found that Singaporeans came in a close second, after China, in the number of Internet-connected devices that they owned - the most popular being laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Not surprisingly, they're also extremely dependent on the Internet.

Singaporeans spend an average of about nine hours a day online, compared with 8.4 hours for respondents in India, and seven hours for those in Japan.

Two in five respondents would pay US$145 in exchange for Internet access for a day, compared with US$24 for Japanese respondents.

And 68 per cent of respondents could not live without the Internet for more than 24 hours.

They're also aware of the pitfalls.

David Freer, vice president of Symantec Consumer, Asia Pacific and Japan, said: "Over nine out of 10 Singaporeans understand the risks when they get online... But on top of that, we also found that they don't understand how to protect themselves. Again, out of the five countries we reviewed, two out three Singaporeans don't know what to do online."

This was the worst result among all the five countries surveyed, and one of the biggest misconceptions - thinking smartphones are not as susceptible to security breaches.

"All the risks you see when you access the Internet via PC are there when you access the Internet via smartphone. There's a much bigger risk that you're going to lose those items. Someone finding your smartphone or your tablet can then access it, (and) get a lot of personal information off there," said Mr Freer.

Mr Freer said part of the problem is the misconception that basic security is adequate protection against today's threats.

"It's not just a PC-centric world anymore. People have tablets and smartphones - make sure you protect them," said Mr Freer.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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