With more parts of human lives playing online as self-isolation measures remain or return across countries in Southeast Asia (SEA), a fresh survey by global cybersecurity company Kaspersky has unmasked users’ shift of behaviour and views online during this pandemic time.
The Kaspersky’s report titled “More connected than ever before: how we build our digital comfort zones” found out that majority (82%) of the respondents from the region think that their digital lifestyle is safe for their data’s privacy. This is 7% higher than the global average at 75%.
Conducted last May 2020 among 760 respondents from the region, the research also showed that only 1% of the users in SEA admitted that living virtually feels very unsafe for them, 2 notches lower than the world view at 3%. The remaining answered they feel unsafe (11%), still lower than global percentage at 16%, while some 5% were unsure.
Despite the high confidence in the region, survey respondents also admitted to being hacked online. Users acknowledged that their social media accounts (21%), their email accounts (20%), their mobile devices (13%), their Wi-Fi networks (12%), and their banking accounts (12%) have been hacked.
There’s another 2% who even confirmed their accounts have been compromised more than three or four times, while 24% are certain that their data had never been leaked. Almost 2-in-10 of the respondents also confessed they are not sure if their accounts were compromised ever as they do not know how to check (18%) while another 14% revealed they have never checked at all.
When asked about what they did after discovering their accounts’ security was breached, more than half of users (57%) in SEA changed their passwords to all relevant wireless devices and digital accounts and another 54% updated their security codes to only the affected wireless devices and digital accounts.
Only 23% of the respondents who experienced hacking installed security software to protect their accounts while 14% took their hacked devices to an IT expert. There was a small percent (4%) who chose to do nothing.
As more users utilise the internet to keep their sense of normalcy during this time, Kaspersky advises the following to keep them safe online:
- Take your online privacy seriously and don’t share or permit access to your information with third parties unless absolutely necessary, to minimize exposure of it falling into the wrong hands.
- Start using a “Privacy Checker” that helps consider setting your social media profiles to private. It will make it harder for third parties to find highly personal information.
- Use a reliable security solution to generate and secure unique passwords for every account, and resist the temptation to re-use the same one over and over again.
- To find out if any of the passwords you use to access your online accounts have been compromised, use a tool such as Kaspersky Security Cloud. Its Account Check feature allows users to check their accounts for potential data leaks. If a leak is detected, the tool will provide information about the categories of data that may be publicly accessible so that the individual affected can take appropriate action.