Microsoft’s Digital Civility Index reveals the need for people to treat each other with dignity online, for a safer, more respectful internet

NEW DELHI – February 7, 2017 – With growing internet penetration, there is an increased focus on taking steps to minimize threats that users face online. On the occasion of Safer Internet Day (SID), Microsoft released the findings of a survey conducted across 14 countries through its Digital Civility Index (DCI). Findings of the survey indicated:

  • 63% of Indian respondents reported having been exposed to an online risk. 44% of Indians experienced their most recent online risk within the past month, indicating higher frequency
  • 69% Indian respondents expressed concern over an online risk
  • Youth were more confident than adults in managing uncivil behavior, and were more knowledgeable about where to get help if needed. However, only 50% youth and 35% adults knew where to get help.
  • Males in India reported more risks across categories – 64% compared to 61% for females. Whereas more females tightened privacy controls (61%) compared to males (50%) after experiencing online risk.

The Digital Civility Index is part of Microsoft’s continuing commitment to fostering safe, inclusive interactions online, and to raise awareness on the need for digital civility. “On Safer Internet Day, Microsoft is using the Digital Civility Index to amplify awareness and demonstrate the need to further educate young adults, parents, educators, and policymakers about the real-world consequences of negative online interactions, which can have serious consequences. We hope these findings will serve as an evidentiary base for a global drive toward digital civility and increase accountability among internet users,” said Madhu Khatri, Associate General Counsel, Microsoft India.

The findings were the result of a survey that examined people’s attitudes and perceptions about online behaviors and interactions. The survey polled teens (ages 13-17) and adults (18-74) asking about their experiences and encounters with 17 different online risks across four categories: behavioral, reputational, sexual, and personal/intrusive.

  • On intrusive behaviour like hate speech, discrimination, unwanted contact, or terrorism recruiting, 79% Indians reported concern levels.
  • 77% Indians reported behavioural concerns like cyberbullying, trolling, or online harassment.
  • Concerns on unwanted sexual solicitation, sexting, revenge porn, or sextortion was reported by 77% Indians.
  • Concerns on unwanted reputational behaviour such as doxing and damage to personal or workplace reputation was reported by 77% Indians.

Microsoft has a long-standing commitment to online safety. It has been an active supporter of Safer Internet Day each year, since it started in 2004. It collaborates with advocates, industry partners and governments worldwide to develop solutions and promote effective public policies that help protect people online.

Based on Microsoft’s research, surveys and feedback from stakeholders it continually offers new guidance and tips for people to stay safe online. Microsoft is also organizing a free webinar to educate internet users about possible risks during online interactions and suggest remedial actions. Read more here.

Additional information on the Digital Civility Index is available here.

About Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day (SID) is an international day of action, organized by Insafe every February, to promote safer and more responsible use of technology, particularly among children and young people. This year’s theme is, “Be the change: United for a better internet.”

About Microsoft India

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft set up its India operations in 1990. Today, Microsoft entities in India have over 8,000 employees, engaged in sales and marketing, research and development and customer services and support, across nine Indian cities – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune.