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Japanese users not proactive enough about cybersecurity: ESET survey

75% of respondents don’t feel confident about protecting themselves against cyber attacks

ESET, a global pioneer in proactive protection for more than two decades, today released the ESET Japan Cyber-Savviness Report 2016 showing that while users in Japan are knowledgeable about cybersecurity and take few risks online, they still have some way to go in ensuring that they are adequately protected when they access the Internet.

Interestingly, the findings show that while more than 70 percent of the respondents did not receive any formal education about cybersecurity, at least 4 out of 5 respondents were able to correctly answer basic cybersecurity questions. This level of knowledge, the highest of any Asia-Pacific market, was consistent between the different age groups surveyed.

The survey polled 1,033 respondents in Japan to gain insights into attitudes, knowledge and user behavior there when it comes to cybersecurity.

Compared with the results of the ESET Asia Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 and the ESET Vietnam Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 (covering seven other Asia-Pacific markets), Japan had the highest cyber-savviness score ahead of Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Vietnam, in that order. Cyber-savviness is based on factors such as users’ knowledge or ability to understand activities that are likely to make them vulnerable online, risky behaviors while surfing the web, and the proactive steps they can take to protect themselves online.

However, the Japan survey results point to a significant gap between user awareness and implementation of security measures. For example, while as many as 96 percent of respondents were aware of the security threat posed by using the same password for different accounts, only 1 in 5 people actually set separate passwords for their individual online accounts.

“In Asia-Pacific, Japan has always taken the lead in technology adoption and innovation. The country relies on data, online communications and information technology to drive innovation and efficiency, resulting in increased exposure to cybersecurity risks,” said Parvinder Walia, Sales and Marketing Director, ESET Asia-Pacific. “The ESET Japan Cyber-Savviness Report 2016 highlights that even with all the technological advancements in Japan, there are still holes within the country’s cybersecurity fabric that need to be filled. To help users in Japan feel confident as they make use of various technologies, there is an urgent need to ensure that users take concrete preventive steps while continuing to strengthen cybersecurity awareness across the country.”

Survey results also showed that overall, users in Japan do not engage in risky cyber behaviour. Most respondents (86%) know to immediately disconnect a breached device from the Internet and 71 percent do not open or download attachments from unknown senders.

However, more than half of the people surveyed said they are worried about potential cybersecurity threats. Anxiety about cybersecurity increases with age, and corresponds with the perception that online scams and hackings of social media accounts are “very common”, despite the fact that only eight percent of respondents have ever experienced a cyber-attack.

Mr. Walia added, “All it takes to fend off cyber criminals is the consistent use of simple preventive measures. It’s a shame that so many people are not actively using their knowledge of cybersecurity when little things like maintaining proper passwords could help alleviate their anxieties and enable them to use the Internet safely and with confidence.”

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