Cyber Security Knowledge Gap in Vietnam Could Be Putting Users At Risk

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Ø  Vietnam has lowest levels of cybersecurity awareness when compared with six other Asia-Pacific markets

Ø  87% of respondents worry about online threats

Ø  Only 32% take proactive steps to protect themselves online

The findings show that while 87 percent of users in the country worry about online threats, only 32 percent take the right steps to protect themselves – the lowest in the Asia-Pacific region.

The survey polled 500 respondents in Vietnam to gain insights into attitudes, knowledge and user behavior there when it comes to cybersecurity. The findings were released at the 18th Association of Anti-Virus Researchers International Conference 2015 in Danang, Vietnam.

When compared with the results of the ESET Asia Cyber-Savviness Report 2015, which covered six other Asia-Pacific markets, Vietnam came last in terms of cyber-savviness behind Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia, 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.

“As Internet use surges in Vietnam, the country relies more and more on data, electronic communications and information technology to drive innovation and efficiency, resulting in increased exposure to cyber security risks,” said Parvinder Walia, Sales and Marketing Director, ESET Asia-Pacific. “The ESET Vietnam Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 highlights that although Internet users in Vietnam know certain actions can put them at risk or make them more vulnerable when online, it is not enough to stop them from making these mistakes. The gap between knowledge and action is a worrying trend as hackers tend to look for the path of least resistance. If users don’t take it upon themselves to ensure that they’re adequately protected, they might unwittingly become the victim of a cyber-attack.”

Key survey results show that a majority of Vietnamese Internet users have misconceptions about common cybersecurity issues with people being unable to correctly answer questions such as the dangers of using free public Wi-Fi (59% think it’s safe) and creating passwords using personal details (70% think it’s safe). Sixty-two percent of users also believe in the myth that a PC is more likely to be hacked than a mobile device, further highlighting a lack of awareness.

Users in Vietnam worry most about the safety of sensitive information on their personal devices and protecting their devices from viruses. Worryingly, only approximately 30 percent of users surveyed recognized the serious risks posed by common threats such as unsecured applications, spam emails and banner advertisements, highlighting another serious knowledge gap that could be making them vulnerable to attack.

Risky online behavior widespread in Vietnam, especially amongst younger users

Users in Vietnam commit basic mistakes like connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi (71%), setting easy to remember passwords (70%), keeping passwords unchanged for a long time (66%), keeping accounts signed in at all times (59%), and downloading files from unofficial sources (49%).  The results also show that, on average, over 68 percent of 18-24 year olds in Vietnam engage in risky online behavior.                 

Mr Walia added: “It is critical that we boost awareness about online security and bust common myths around this issue. Users across Vietnam are still taking unnecessary risks when online, partly due to a lack of awareness and partly due to the misconception that their personal accounts and online activities are not a target for hackers. This is a shame because taking simple steps like regularly changing passwords would dramatically reduce their risks of being hacked, helping them to be safe and confident while surfing the web.”

To download the ESET Vietnam Cyber-Savviness Report 2015, please visit here.

To download the ESET Asia Cyber-Savviness Report 2015, please click here.


About ESET

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