Kaspersky Lab statistics show that users are more likely to fall victim to cybercrime online, while computer infections caused by portable data carriers (optical discs or USB drives) are less common. Nevertheless, according to a survey conducted by O+K Research in May 2012 at the request of Kaspersky Lab, users encounter infected flash drives on a regular basis, with 49% of users in GCC reporting such incidents. Even if a user is confident that his/her computer is securely protected, an infected USB stick from friends or family could result in data loss.
Along with cyber-threats, users worry about unauthorized access to their personal data and the devices it is stored on. According to the survey, this problem affected 46% of desktop and laptop users in GCC, 10% of tablet owners and 9% of those respondents with smartphones.
Another relatively widespread method for stealing user data is that of data interception on wireless networks, particularly Wi-Fi. Nowadays lots of cafes, restaurants and other public areas offer hot-spots that rarely use passwords or encryption. That means anyone can use networks like these. At the same time, intercepting and analyzing traffic on these networks is a relatively simple task for the cybercriminals.
The experts at O+K Research found that in UAE, 39% of smartphone users and 34% of tablet owners use unsecured public networks. 17% of those with laptops also make use of free Wi-Fi. What is more, over half of the respondents use these networks every day or at least 2-3 times a week. This rather worrying statistic demonstrates that users clearly underestimate the dangers of free Wi-Fi. When it comes to wireless networks, it is very easy to avoid the threat of your data being intercepted by only using secured hot-spots.
What the initial survey findings show is that consumers live in quite an insecure environment, and may be attacked by cybercriminals using multiple vulnerable spots. Therefore, safeguarding people’s personal data requires even more than standard anti-malware protection. Securing online data exchange, protecting financial transactions, blocking infected and fraudulent web pages – these features combined together is the proper defense tactics. Thus, the minimum requirement for strong protection is the product like Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 which includes all mentioned security methods and even more.