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Cyber attacks “made up”, say 1 in 10 in SA

A recent Kaspersky survey has revealed that 9% of Internet users is South Africa believe that cyberattacks don’t exist and that the threat is exaggerated by security companies.

According to a survey carried out jointly by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab, 9% of Internet users in South Africa do not believe that cyberattacks are real. They feel that the threat is exaggerated by Internet security companies. However, this complacency leaves them without any protection against a risk that threatens their data and virtual lives every day.

According to statistics, even people who accept that cyber threats are real are not always convinced they need protection against these threats. Specifically, only 25% of respondents believe they can be targeted by cybercriminals. However, in reality any person’s device could be of interest to attackers. Even if the owner does not store valuable data on the device and does not carry out financial transactions online, cybercriminals can make use of any computer, smartphone or tablet – perhaps by turning it into a bot that sends spam, carries out DDoS attacks or sends phishing links via instant messaging and email.

Almost a third (21%) of users are not worried that their online accounts could be compromised, or are even oblivious to this risk. Crucially, this applies not only to personal pages on social networking sites but to personal online banking accounts, which could hand over a user’s personal finances to a cybercriminal. However, many people feel that financial losses resulting from cyberattacks are extremely unlikely – 30% of respondents are unaware of or not worried about the possibility of such losses. One thing they do not realise is that such losses may not be due to direct theft of money from their bank accounts. Malware infection can also lead to unforeseen expenses, including costs associated with the services of an IT specialist, reinstalling software or temporary unavailability of a device. Overall, 21% of respondents who have had malware on their devices have incurred losses as a result of the incident.

According to survey results, 20% of respondents are unaware that using public Wi-Fi networks is risky because data sent over such networks can be intercepted by cybercriminals. A slightly higher proportion of users, 21%, are aware of this threat but do not believe they need to worry about it. At the same time, 44% of respondents use public networks and 11% enter their credentials on websites while connected to a public network.

People who believe that they are safe because cybercriminals will just leave them alone and won’t be interested simply don’t understand the nature of online threats. Hackers don’t usually focus on specific targets: they try to scoop up as many victims as possible. This is why it is very risky to use the Internet without a security solution,” says Elena Kharchenko, Head of Consumer Product Management, Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky Internet Security — multi-device 2015 is a solution that protects against the latest Internet threats without distracting the user or slowing down the device. It can protect devices running Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X or Google Android. It blocks malware, detects phishing and dangerous websites, warns the user of risks associated with using untrusted Wi-Fi connections and offers secure web surfing for Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows Phone users.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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