Phishing attacks: 20 percent of Indians are victims, says Microsoft


Internet, much like the real world, has bad people too. And while the digital security of the entire planet seems to be a train-wreck, things are even worse in India. 

According to Microsoft’s third annual Computing Safety Index (MCSI)​ report, 20% Indians are the victims of online phishing attacks. The victims in this case lose around Rs. 7500 ($120 USD) on average. “About 12 per cent Indian respondents said they suffered identity theft at an average cost them Rs 7,500,” the MSCI states.

Whereas the annual worldwide impact of phishing and identity theft is around $5 billion, while fixing peoples’ online reputation could go as high as $6 million. “The annual worldwide impact of phishing and other various forms of identity theft could be as high as $5 billion, with the cost of repairing the damage to peoples’ online reputation being higher yet at nearly $6 billion or an estimated average of $632 (Rs 39,000) per loss,” the MSCI mentioned.

The survey which was released today on Safer Internet Day, used the data gathered from testing around 10,500 users from across 20 nations. According to the report, only 34% of them care to prevent strangers from seeing their updates on social media. Whereas, 38% of people actually tweak some settings to set control over who sees what.

Furthermore, only 35% of the users employed a PIN protection to keep their devices secure. “Internet users can prevent intrusions and thefts by using a unique four-digit PIN for mobile devices and strong passwords for online accounts,” Microsoft India National Technology Officer Prakash Kumar said.

It is high time we became aware of online attacks and started using simple preventive measures which can save us a whole lot of trouble. “The Internet touches our lives every day, whether we are communicating with loved ones, for work, shopping, and paying bills. But how cautious are we about monitoring our online presence, and taking note of our own vulnerabilities? There are many things you can do to stay safer online,” Kumar added.

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