Microsoft Consumer Safety Index reveals impact of poor online safety behaviours in Singapore

 |   Singapore News Center

SINGAPORE, February 11, 2014 — In conjunction with international Safer Internet Day (SID), Microsoft has today released the results of the third annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI). The MCSI survey measures the online safety behaviour of almost 10,500 consumers in 20 countries, including Singapore and the US, UK, Australia, China and India. The latest survey revealed that online trouble has resulted in an estimated US$23 billion in worldwide financial losses in 2013, with financial loss due to compromise of professional reputation being the most costly.

To support Safer Internet Day, Microsoft is also asking consumers to “Do 1 Thing” to stay safer online and commit to doing so on a new, interactive website, http://www.microsoft.com/saferonline. The new site allows Internet users around the world to share how they plan to avoid online risks, learn what other people are doing to help protect themselves and receive instant tips to enhance their digital lifestyle.

“The Internet is an integral part of our daily lives; we email to stay connected, share photos and videos, pay bills, and shop,” said Ms Stephanie Hung, Director, Public Sector, Microsoft Singapore. “However, the very experiences that we love about the Internet sometimes put us at risk. The latest findings from the Microsoft Computing Safety Index reveal the impact of not taking proactive steps to protect ourselves can have significant repercussions both financially and professionally.”

According to the MCSI survey, the annual worldwide impact of phishing and various forms of identity theft could be as high as US$5 billion, with the cost of repairing damage to peoples’ online reputation higher yet at nearly US$6 billion, or an estimated average of US$632 per loss.

In Singapore, where 529 users were polled:

  • 12 percent said they were victims of a phishing attack, losing on average US$158 or about S$200 (Global figures are 15 percent and US$158 respectively)
  • 8 percent said their professional reputation had been compromised, costing on average US$552 or S$700 to repair (Global figures are 13 percent and US$535, respectively)
  • 7 percent said they had suffered identity theft at an average cost of US$197 or S$250 (Global figures are 9 percent and US$218 respectively)

Yet despite such losses, only 42 percent said they limit what strangers see on social networks and the amount of personal information online, while 43 percent said they adjust their social network privacy settings. And, only 41 percent use a PIN (personal identification number) or password to lock their mobile device. While Singapore fared better compared to the global average figures, the results are still below the median mark, reflecting that the majority of those polled are still not exercising safer online habits.

Therefore, education and guidance about how to avoid online risks remain key and this is why Microsoft is asking people to “Do 1 Thing” today and make it part of their daily digital routine.

“We encourage you to visit our website and share the one thing you will do to help keep the Internet safer and more secure. Microsoft Singapore is dedicated to promoting responsible use of technology by sharing insights, resources and guidance with our government partners and consumers, to help people of all ages and abilities have a safer computing experience. We hope that you will participate in our “Do1Thing” campaign and be part of that positive change,” Ms Hung said.

Internet users can make more informed decisions and help better protect their online activities by visiting www.microsoft.com/saferonline, which provides a range of hints, tips and guidance including the following:

  • Help guard your devices and online accounts. Use a unique four-digit PIN for mobile devices and strong passwords for online accounts.
  • Perform sensitive transactions over secured networks. This includes paying bills, banking or shopping. Don’t share personal account information over “borrowed” or public Wi-Fi connections.
  • Take charge of your online reputation. Discover what information about you is on the Internet, periodically re-evaluate it, and remove unwanted or inaccurate content to cultivate an accurate, positive reputation.
  • Help protect your social circles. Use privacy settings to manage the information you share and with whom you share it. Be selective about what you post and accepting friends.

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About the Microsoft Computing Safety Index survey
Now it its third year, the MCSI survey measures the online safety behavior of almost 10,500 consumers in 20 countries. The survey was conducted March through May 2013 and asked consumers to share their online experiences for the 12 months prior. Countries in the survey include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

For news about Microsoft in Singapore, join the conversation on Twitter. Follow us at @Microsoft_SG.


For more information, press only:
Microsoft Singapore
Lina Marican
+65-9180-9215
a-limari@microsoft.com

IN.FOM (Partnering agency of Microsoft Singapore)
Sylvia Lim
+65 9876 7176
sylvia@infom.asia

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