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Filipinos remain at risk of cyberthreats online: Kaspersky Lab

Adrian M. Reodique | Aug. 16, 2016
Polled Internet users in the Philippines are vulnerable to phishing attacks.

Filipino Internet users are 'averagely at risk' of cyberthreats, according to an online survey conducted by Kaspersky Lab to 18,000 users from 16 countries, including 1,394 from the Philippines.

The survey was conducted to determine the online habits and cyberthreat awareness of the respondents.

In a press release, Kaspersky Lab said the final scores of the respondents were categorised based on their experience in combating cyberthreats. Respondents who scored over 137 points are the safest and cyber savvy enough; those who got 113-137 points commit some dangerous mistake but generally behave carefully online; Internet users who scored 75-113 are averagely at risk which means they are able to identify only half of the cyberthreats they encounter; while respondents who scored below 75 were described to have a very threatening online behaviour as they cannot recognise cyberthreats.

The polled Internet users in the Philippines scored 97. Additionally, it was found that almost half of the Filipino respondents (49.4 percent) keep unused applications for a long time which make them vulnerable to cyberthreats.

"Keeping unused applications on their devices is a common mistake for Filipinos. It is a dire error to leave apps with old software stocked on your devices because these applications have outdated programmes which may become a widely open door that cybercriminals can exploit easily. These old apps can be used to turn your beloved devices against you," said Anthony Chua, Territory Channel Manager for the Philippines and Singapore at Kaspersky Lab Southeast Asia.

Kaspersky Lab also tested the ability of Filipino respondents to distinguish a phishing Facebook page against a genuine one. The survey revealed that majority of the respondents (72 percent) were not able to identify the real Facebook page.

"Filipinos are known as one of the most active social media users. There are currently over 47 million active Facebook accounts from the Philippines and cybercriminals are very aware of this. While Facebook has its own perks, simple attacks like phishing happen as it essentially plays on an Internet user's carelessness. If Filipinos continue to be unmindful when using social media platforms, then it shouldn't be surprising if more cases of scams and identity theft arise," Chua warned.

To avoid phishing attacks, Kaspersky Lab gave some tips on how users can protect themselves, as follows:

1.     Always check the link of the page and make sure the spelling is correct. Kaspersky Lab said if it has some spelling issues, fraudsters might be trying to push on a fake page to the users.

2.     Enter your username and password only when connection is secured - site URL with prefixed "https" is safe.

3.     Be vigilant when opening an attachment or links in an email. Again, check for the spelling of the hyperlink.

 

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