Fake news, online extremism and state-sponsored hacking of election are serious issues. But how much do we actually know about cyber security? While the basics are (sort of) clear, consumers still struggle with anything more basic than identifying a strong password, a Pew Research has found.
Pew Research Centre polled just over 1,000 adults who use the internet and the results are not far from what most cyber security professionals already know. And it is all to do with the level of technical detail.
Good news first: 75% of the adults polled could correctly identify the strongest password from a list of four options. And almost 73% knew that a free public Wi-Fi network didn’t come without its drawbacks- as far as security is concerned. They also knew that the presence of a password on a public wifi network didn’t render them safe for online banking and other non-anonymous tasks.
However, it was around this point that things went a little downhill.
Incredibly dangerous (and now very fashionable) phishing attacks could be identified by just 54% of internet users and only 52% knew that turning off GPS didn’t mean their phones could not be tracked.
Pro tip: Putting smartphones in the fridge doesn’t work either and microwave ovens can not self convert into cameras.
The downward spiral continued as only 16% knew that using a VPN reduced the risks associated with using an insecure Wi-Fi networks. Similarly just 13% knew that a group of computers used by hackers is referred to as a ‘botnet’.
A significant number of questions returned a ‘not sure’ response including the definition of ransomware, whether or not email and Wi-Fi are encrypted by defaultand how to identify whether or not a webpage is encrypted.
Wondering which question got the most incorrect/no replies? It has got to be: How to identify a multi-factor authentication screen.