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74% of internet users can’t recognise online threats: Report

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Altaf Halde, Managing Director - South Asia, Kaspersky Lab Do you have the ability to recognise online threats? Kaspersky Lab has found that three-quarters (74%) of internet users would download a potentially malicious file, because of the lack of ‘cyber-savviness’ they need to spot dangers online.

The results of a quiz, which questioned 18,000 internet users all over 18-years-old from 16 countries around the world including a total of 1,348 respondents from India with an aim to learn about their online habits, has raised concerns about the ability of users to recognise online threats.

The cyber-awareness of internet users was tested during the quiz when they were asked to download the song ‘Yesterday’ by the Beatles. Out of the four download options, only one was a safe wma. file, intentionally named ‘Betles.Yesterday.wma.’ This was chosen by just a quarter (26%) of respondents, who spotted that it was a harmless file type, despite the spelling error in the file’s name.

The most dangerous file option, exe. contained the well-known ‘mp3’ term as part of its name, ‘Beatles_Yesterday.mp3.exe,’ tricking a third (34%) of respondents into selecting it. 14% chose a scr. screensaver download, a file type which has recently been used to spread malicious material, and 26% selected the zip. option, which could have contained some dangerous files.

The inability of users to spot danger online is not limited to music. According to the survey, one in five (21%) users download files from a variety of online sources, increasing their risk of encountering a malicious supplier. During the survey, only 24% of users could recognise a genuine webpage, without selecting a phishing option.

In addition, while specifying the web pages on which they were prepared to enter their data, over half (58%) of users only named fake sites.

The findings follow recent consumer research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, which disclosed that 45% of Internet users have encountered a malware incident in the last 12 months, yet 13% of those who had been affected didn’t know how.

Altaf Halde, Managing Director – South Asia, Kaspersky Lab says, “Consumers are susceptible to scams and phishing attacks as they are less aware of security threats. Phishing is rampant in not just websites or email but also online games and music, social networks and chat services, all of which are heavily used by youngsters. Checking for signs of malicious activity, and knowing how to spot a phishing page or dangerous download option is vital.”

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