One in five Indians is victim of phishing attack, according to the third annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI) released on Tuesday. The study also reveals that 12% of them suffered identity theft at an average cost of Rs.7,500 each.
The survey reveals that the annual worldwide impact of phishing and other forms of identity theft could be as high as $5 billion. The cost of repairing damage to people’s online reputation could be nearly $6 billion.
The MCSI survey was conducted between March and May 2013. It asked consumers to share their online experiences for the 12 months prior, measures the online safety behaviour of almost 10,500 consumers in 20 countries - Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
Interestingly, only 34% of respondents said they limit what strangers see on social networks and the amount of personal information online, while 38% said they adjust their social network privacy settings. Only 35% of users use a PIN (personal identification number) or password to lock their mobile devices.
Of the seven behavioural steps recommended to secure oneself, Indian respondents adopted an average of three steps, and deployed an average of 3.2 technical tools out of a total of 12 available tools.