Internet users need to be more cyber-savvy about their passwords to avoid getting hacked.
This is the call of Kaspersky Lab after they released their global consumer surveys in 2015 titled Consumer Security Risks Survey and Are you cyber savvy?, which reveal that nearly half (44 percent) of Internet users admitted to sharing their passwords with someone else, on top of leaving them visible.
For the Consumer Security Risks Survey, B2B International conducted the survey online, polling more than 12,000 Internet users from 23 countries, including China, Japan, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Malaysia. On the other hand, the Are you cyber savvy? survey polled over 18,000 Internet users from 16 countries, including Asian countries like Japan, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.
According to the surveys, respondents seemed to be negligent towards cybersecurity as they tend to share their passwords with family members (33 percent), friends (11 percent) and even colleagues (6 percent). Besides sharing passwords, 44 percent admitted to also leaving their passwords visible to others.
The surveys also showed that the respondents regard online banking, email, and social media sites as the top three highly-valued online services and applications. They believe that these services require a strong password: 54 percent for online banking, 44 percent for email, and 24 percent for social media sites.
38 percent of respondents think that online shopping needs a strong password too. However, only 29 percent considered it as an important service. When it comes to online payment systems, 29 percent said that it needed a strong password as well, but only 23 percent regarded it as personally valuable.
Despite considering online financial transaction as a service that needs a strong password, 29 percent of respondents believe that there is no need to have additional protection for their personal credentials when using this service; hence they expect full protection from the brands that they shop with.
"Consumers need to be more cyber-savvy about passwords. Once shared, it is very difficult to know exactly where your password will end up. Our research shows that there is a real disconnect between the understanding of why we need strong passwords and the action people take to keep them safe. No one would expect a friend or family member to knowingly divulge a password, but by sharing passwords, consumers are increasing the risk of them falling into the wrong hands," said David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
He added that sharing passwords could give cybercriminals an "easy access to personal and financial information and hacked accounts can be used to distribute malicious links and files, harming others. At worst, entire identities could be put at risk. Even the most complex password is weak if it's visible to others, so keep it to yourself."
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