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Indians downplay cybersecurity risk

News, 18 November 2016

NEW DELHI: Indian consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential cyber threats they face, but there remains a degree of complacency when it comes to protecting passwords and other security measures, a new report has found.

According to Norton By Symantec, an online security firm, 79% of consumers know they should actively protect their information, yet they still engage in risky online behaviour, BRG reported.

For example, consumers who fell victim to cybercrime over the past year are more likely to be concerned about the security of their home wi-fi network (79% versus 70% of non-victims), yet they are less likely to protect their home wi-fi network with a password (28% versus 10% of non-victims).

In addition, the report revealed that nearly a fifth (18%) of the more than 1,000 Indian consumers who took part in the survey have at least one unprotected device, leaving their other devices vulnerable to ransomware, malicious websites, zero days and phishing attacks.

The Norton report warned against such complacency, especially after finding that over a third (36%) of consumers say they do not do anything risky online while almost a quarter (23%) believe security measures would slow them down.

Also of concern is the finding that 22% of respondents agreed to have used their neighbour's wi-fi network without their permission, while only 56% knew how to determine whether the network they use is secure.

"Our findings show that people are increasingly growing aware of the need to protect their personal information online, but are not motivated to take adequate precautions to stay safe," said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager of Norton by Symantec.

"While consumers remain complacent, hackers are refining their skills and adapting their scams to further take advantage of people, making the need for consumers to take some action increasingly important," he added.

Data sourced from BRG; additional content by Warc staff