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October 19, 2015

Low cyber IQ adds to UK digital skills gap

News: Two new surveys reveal lack of digital skills across the UK.

By Charlotte Henry

A worryingly large proportion of UK workers significantly lack cyber awareness, with 29% failing to understand that passwords need to be complex in order to be effective.

In the Cyber IQ test, set by security firm ESET, 23% thought that if they have antivirus software installed it means that they can surf the net fully protected, while 16% felt that if they didn’t visit shady sites they had no reason to be careful when using the internet.

When more advanced questions were asked, only 26% could identify what a DDoS attack is, while 70% did not know which WiFi standard is the most secure.

In one of the most concerning stats to emerge from the test, ESET revealed that just 28% of respondents knew what IoT stands for.

Mark James, security expert at ESET said: "Our study has shown that consumers are still very behind in terms of cyber awareness and could be putting themselves, and the organisations they work for, at risk. There are many security issues which are more targeted at businesses; however consumers should have a good understanding of the threats that target them."

This lack of digital IQ was revealed on the same day as the charity Go.On said that 12m people in the UK, and a million small businesses, have a digital skills gap. The charity. produced a heat map, showing the parts of the UK where people have basic digital skills.

In Wales, more than a third of people do not have basic digital skills. London, Scotland and East Anglia have the highest proportion of people with these skills, with 80% of the population in those regions reaching the criteria.

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