Millennials are more reckless and do not consider themselves targets of cybercrimes.
The state of cyber security in India is reaching critical levels, with acts of cybercrime continuously rising.
An India specific report by Norton by Symantec revealed that 113 million users are affected by some form of online attack in 2015.
16,000 people spend as many as 30 hours dealing with the fallout of cybercrimes.
Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager of Norton by Symantec, says: “In the past year, 48 per cent of India’s online population or approximately 113 million Indians were affected by online crime.”
Norton also found that 60 per cent of users in India are sharing credentials of two email accounts with others.
55 per cent of them share passwords to their social media and 36 per cent share bank account credentials with others.
Their readiness to openly share personal information, and tendency to use the same password for all devices and accounts, leave them in a very vulnerable position.
The report also finds users try to save money by visiting shady websites to download free apps and copyrighted content, many of which contain malware and adware which attack the users’ devices.
The millennial generation is flagged by Norton as one of the most immature user groups in terms of cyber awareness.
Chopra comments: “Even though Millennials have been immersed in online technology most of their lives, they are more reckless in many ways with only one in four believing they have most responsibility when an online crime occurs.”
Four out of 10 millennials consider themselves ‘not interesting’ enough to be a target of cybercrime.
This lack of concern and awareness also correlates with the British millennials, as Norton states 37 per cent of them feel security breaches have become so frequent they no longer have real consequences.
As a result, they are more reckless with their online behaviour as opposed to those with an average age of 55.
In August 2015, the security software firm revealed India ranked ninth globally in terms of ransomware attacks.
Ransomware is a kind of malicious software that encrypts files in a user’s computer and blocks access until the user pays a certain amount of money to the hacker.
Norton’s extensive report indeed brings to light the level and severity of cyber crime that is happening in India.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, says that the government is working on connecting rural areas to the internet, as part of an attempt to rejuvenate the economy.
However, the growth in internet usage also comes with a lack of cyber security awareness. This is especially important due to the rising popularity of social media and apps in everyday life.
The state of cyber security and lack of education on the issues is particularly worrying as the attacks are done through sophisticated means.
Hackers have found a way to hack IoT devices and acquire access to the Wi-Fi network in order to compromise the whole network and devices connected. This is merely one of many methods used in the sophisticated cyber attacks.
To help online users protect themselves and prevent further outbreaks of cybercrime, Norton suggests the following tips:
- Choose a smart and secure password for each and every online account. A strong password consists of at least 8 letters, numbers and symbols.
- Delete emails from unknown senders, and don’t click on attachments or links from suspicious or unknown senders.
- Beware of links that seem ‘too good to be true’ on social media. Hover the mouse over the link to check if they are official and verified websites.
- Always check your bank accounts for any signs of unusual activity. Report any charges that you are not aware of.
- Don’t put off installing reliable security software and be sure to update it regularly.
- Use a secure backup solution to protect files, and back them up regularly so they cannot be held under ransom.
Norton’s report states 60 per cent of their respondents are concerned about falling victim to these crimes. Clearly, cyber security is a real issue in India.
Malicious attackers will always find ways to tricks users into downloading viruses and malware, so it is vital that we remain as alert online as we are offline.
As Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, advises: “[Put] the right guidance in place so you know how to protect yourselves and your family against online crime.”