Almost one in four Internet users are unable to recognize an online threat, according to security company, Kaspersky Lab.
In a recent Kaspersky Lab quiz, 18,000 Internet users were tested on their cyber-awareness. They were asked to download the song Yesterday by the Beatles. Out of the four download options, only one was a safe .wma file, intentionally named ‘Betles.Yesterday.wma.’
This was chosen by just 26 per cent of respondents, who spotted that it was a harmless file type, despite the spelling error in the file’s name.
The most dangerous file option, exe. contained the well-known ‘mp3’ term as part of its name, Beatles_Yesterday.mp3.exe, tricking 34 per cent of respondents into selecting it. 14 per cent chose a scr. screensaver download, a file type which has recently been used to spread malicious material, and 26 per cent selected the zip. option, which could have contained some dangerous files.
Kaspersky Lab principal security researcher, David Emm, said the findings follow recent consumer research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, which disclosed that 45 per cent of Internet users have encountered a malware incident in the last 12 months, yet 13 per cent of those who had been affected didn’t know how.
“Consumers need to make themselves more aware of the dangers of the online world, in order to protect themselves and others. If a consumer is in a dodgy bar, they are unlikely to start counting large sums of cash, it just wouldn’t be streetwise or sensible.
“The same sort of instinct should come into play when consumers go online,” Emm claimed.
According to Emm, checking for signs of malicious activity, and knowing how to spot a phishing page or dangerous download option is vital.
“However, no matter how cyber-savvy a person is, it is unsafe to go online without putting security solutions in place. Cyber-criminals are constantly developing new ways to target people and only the most up to date security software can protect users against some threats,” he added.
The inability of users to spot danger online is not limited to music. The survey also found:
- 21 per cent of users download files from a variety of online sources, increasing their risk of encountering a malicious supplier.
- Only 24 per cent could recognise a genuine webpage, without selecting a phishing option.
- While specifying the Web pages on which they were prepared to enter their data, 58 per cent only named fake sites.