Antivirus maker, Norton, believes that Malaysians are somewhat overconfident in their ability to deal with cybersecurity issues. According to the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, Malaysians consistently give their security practices a solid ‘B+’; while 70-percent of survey respondents believe that their cybersecurity knowledge is above average.
Some 24-percent of Malaysians also feel in complete control of their online safety. This number stands in stark contrast with more developed Asian regions like Hong Kong; where only 10-percent of those surveyed felt in control. Chee Choon Hong, Director of Norton’s Asia Consumer Business notes that this is a trend that is prevalent among developing countries that have adopted the internet later.
Despite this confidence, Norton’s report indicates that Malaysians have no idea what they are doing. Some 22-percent of respondents admit to sharing passwords with others. These passwords are not only for access to things like social media accounts, but also email and banking services.
To make matters worse, 74-percent of respondents say that they do not have any security software on their laptops. This number is higher for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones; although that is understandable considering that these devices are less likely to be affected by malware.
While Norton’s report provides some interesting information about Malaysian cybersecurity practices, it fails to answer some basic questions about what kinds of cybercriminals target the country. Chee notes phishing attempts are the most common as far as he is able to tell; although Norton does not have an official numbers to back the claim.
As usual, most cybercrime can be avoided by being careful on the internet. Most users will be able to avoid being a victim by simply having a strong password and implementing two-stage authentication on their accounts. Avoiding clicking on suspicious links; or just pay attention to the URL the links are pointing to.
Update: Norton has provided us with some statistics about Cybercrime in Malaysia. It turns out that social media scams are the most popular in this country, with Malaysia being ranked fifth in the Asia Pacific and Japan region. Cybercriminals are also technically accomplished in this region, and some 4,530 ransomware attacks were recorded in the country last year. That puts us at the ninth highest number of attacks in the APJ.
Businesses were not spared either, with Symantec reporting that five out of six companies with more than 2500 were targeted by spear phishing attacks in 2014.