In support of international Safer Internet Day (SID) and following the release of the latest results of the third annual Microsoft Computing Safer Index (MCSI), Microsoft Corp. is asking consumers to “Do 1 Thing” to stay safer online and commit to doing so on a new, interactive website, .
The site allows Internet users around the world to share how they plan to avoid online risks, learn what other people are doing to help protect themselves, and receive instant tips to enhance their digital lifestyle.
“In Africa, this risk is growing fast”, says Marius Haman, Anti-Piracy, Legal & Corporate Affairs lawyer for Microsoft Middle East & Africa, “Sub-Saharan Africa is home to one of the world’s fastest growing internet populations, which means more and more people are accessing the internet for the first time, providing a large and unsuspecting base of targets to cybercriminals. Combine this with the lack of strong cybercrime laws and high piracy rate on the continent and its clear why we’re seeing more and more people fall victim to attacks”.
According to the MCSI survey, the annual worldwide impact of phishing and various forms of identity theft could be as high as $5 billion, with the cost of repairing damage to peoples’ online reputation higher yet at nearly $6 billion, or an estimated average of $632 per loss. This means that education and guidance about how to avoid online risks remain key and is why Microsoft is asking people to “Do 1 Thing” today and make it part of their daily digital routine.
Yet despite such losses, only 36 percent said they limit what strangers see on social networks and the amount of personal information online, while 33 percent said they adjust their social network privacy settings. And, only 33 percent use a PIN or password to lock their mobile device.
Locally, Microsoft marked Safer Internet Day by educating students and their parents on how they can remain safe on the Internet. Over 130 students from 10 schools attended a demonstration at HillCrest School in Nairobi, where Microsoft staff demonstrated how the students can increase their safety on the Internet.
Hillcrest headteacher, Lady Karen Morey said: “Kids may fall prey to criminal and other predators online who may seek to take advantage of them. I would like to thank Microsoft for taking the opportunity to highlight the dangers online and how young users can keep themselves safe.”
Internet users can make more informed decisions and help better protect their online activities by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/