Malaysia and Singapore are the top two most cyber-savvy nations in Asia, according to the Eset Asia Cyber Savviness Report 2015. But although both countries, along with other Asian countries, have large numbers of internet users, those users tend to take unnecessary risks when they are online, which leaves them vulnerable to cyber attacks, said the report. The report found users labour under the misconception that their personal accounts and activities are not likely to be a target for hackers; and some may be trading security for convenience – partly due to a lack of awareness.
Many of the 1,800 respondents – polled from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia – commit basic mistakes, such as using passwords with easy-to-access personal information, such as their date of birth or surname. They also store passwords and credit card details online and connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
The Eset report found 93% of online users in Asia worry about cyber security – but only three in five consumers can answer basic cyber security questions correctly.
The study also found that cyber-savviness does not equate to being secure. For example, users in Indonesia and India take the highest number of precautions, despite having the lowest levels of cyber security awareness. On the other hand, countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand – which ranked among the top in the savviness survey – came in near the bottom in protecting themselves.
“Hackers are like predators in a jungle – they look for easy targets and the path of least resistance. The survey results show that, while consumers are adopting technology quickly, they are unwittingly putting themselves at risk by not appreciating the need to secure their new devices, which can be done very easily,” said Parvinder Walia, sales director Apac at Eset.