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Majority internet users cite loss of financial data as biggest concern: Report

Social networking is the second most popular online activity after e-mail exchange, but tablets and mobile phones are closing the gap

By CBR Staff Writer

About 60% of internet users from Russia, the US and Europe revealed the exploitation of financial information as their greatest cause for concern, according to a research conducted by Harris Interactive, initiated by Kaspersky Lab.

Information about passwords for online services comes a close second with about 58% of users surveyed between February and March 2012 were concerned about the loss or theft of this data by cybercriminals.

Next comes personal email and documents, address book contacts and different kinds of multimedia files even though the survey showed that a considerable number of users store information on poorly protected mobile devices in spite data safety concerns.

Nearly 15% of respondents use their tablet to make credit card purchases online, work with electronic payment systems or to perform other financial operations and 12% perform the same activities using their mobile phone.

The survey revealed that users worldwide are increasingly educated about modern computer threats, even as the variety of online devices increases, but in many areas express poor and reckless attitudes towards security.

Highly sensitive data like personal and work documents and e-mails, personal photos and even banking credentials are frequently stored on devices with inferior protection.

This applies to Apple computers and tablets, where most Mac users expect these devices to protect themselves but also to other tablets and smartphones, with low take-up of security software.

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About 31% of all users entrust their personal information to their home computer or laptop and 56% refrain from posting sensitive personal information like their home address or phone number in online services.

The results highlighted that 46% or just under half of respondents prefer to back up all their devices, 30% resort to encrypting valuable information, while another 32% protect documents with a password.

Kaspersky Lab said although there’s a high level of understanding among users that computer threats do pose a real problem, most consumers tend to use free antivirus software, therefore limiting the level of protection provided to them to a dangerously low level.

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