Despite Risks, Consumers Do Little to Practice Safer Online Habits

February 5, 2013

Microsoft Releases Research Showing the Need for More Diligence in Protecting Personal Information at Home and on Mobile Devices

Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft’s Chief Online Safety Officer

(Redmond, WA, Tuesday, February 5, 2013)  Mobile devices often have just as much, if not more, valuable personal information stored on them as a home computer, making them equally attractive to data-stealing criminals.  Yet,  according to results released for Safer Internet Day (SID), Microsoft’s Computing Safety Index (MCSI) found that people still aren’t protecting their personal information as well as they should, leaving them at risk. 

According to the Index, more than half of respondents say they’ve experienced multiple online threats, with less than a third taking proactive steps needed to help protect them online.  Respondents noted the most common computer risks they have experienced are fraudulent emails asking for personal information or a notification that a virus or other problem was detected on their computer.

Microsoft has compiled three easy steps to help stay safer online:

  • Conduct sensitive transactions like paying bills, banking, or shopping for the home computer and avoid “borrowed” or public Wi-Fi (like a hotspot).
  • Look for signs that a webpage is secure and legitimate.  Before you enter sensitive data, check for evidence of encryption, meaning, a web address with https where “s” stands for secure, and a closed padlock beside it.

Reduce spam in your inbox.  Share your primary email address and instant messaging name only with people you know and with reputable organizations. 

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