In support of international Safer Internet Day #SID2014 (SID) and following the release of the latest results of the third annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), Microsoft Corp. is asking consumers to “Do 1 Thing” to stay safer online and commit to doing so on a new, interactive website.
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 touches our lives every day; we email to stay connected, share photos and videos, pay bills, and shop,” said Jacqueline Beauchere, chief online safety officer, Microsoft. “Sometimes, though, the very experiences that we love about the Internet put us at risk.”
According to the MCSI survey, the annual worldwide impact of phishing and various forms of identity theft could be as high as $5 billion, with the cost of repairing damage to peoples’ online reputation higher yet at nearly $6 billion, or an estimated average of $632 per loss.
This means that education and guidance about how to avoid online risks remain key and is why Microsoft is asking people to “Do 1 Thing” today and make it part of their daily digital routine, says the company.
Of the more than 10,000 consumers surveyed:
- 15 percent said they were victims of a phishing attack, losing on average $158.
- 13 percent said their professional reputation had been compromised, costing on average $535 to repair.
- 9 percent said they had suffered identity theft at an average cost of $218.
Yet despite such losses, only 36 percent said they limit what strangers see on social networks and the amount of personal information online, while 33 percent said they adjust their social network privacy settings.
And, only 33 percent use a PIN (personal identification number) or password to lock their mobile device.
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, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain,Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Photo courtesy: Microsoft Corp.