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Millennials, Boomers more guarded about future tech

Study by Kaspersky also puts spotlight on SEA’s attitude towards internet security

05 July 2021

Gen Z and Gen X in Southeast Asia (SEA) are less afraid about future technologies such as biometrics, smart appliances, robotic devices and deepfakes while Millennials and Boomers have their guards up. These are some more key findings from Kaspersky’s research “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy”.

The research conducted just last November 2020 asked 831 social media users in SEA about their level of fear against the current technological trends and found out that more than half (62%) are afraid of deepfakes. It is highest among Baby Boomers (74%) and lowest among Gen X (58%).

Deepfakes is the use of artificial intelligence to create images, audio, or voice recordings in someone else’s likeness. The respondents’ attitude towards this technology is not without basis as deepfake videos have been used for political purposes, as well as for personal revenge. Increasingly, they are also being used in major attempts at blackmail and fraud.

For instance, the CEO of a British energy firm was tricked out of $243,000 by a voice Deepfake of the head of his parent company requesting an emergency transfer of funds. The fake was so convincing that he didn’t think to check; the funds were wired not to the head office, but to a third party’s bank account. The CEO only became suspicious when his ‘boss’ requested another transfer. This time, alarm bells rang – but it was too late to get back the funds he’d already transferred.

SEA respondents are less but still guarded about biometrics or the use fingerprint, eye scanner, and facial recognition (32%), smart devices (27%), and robotic tools like a robo cleaner (15%).

The social media users in the region has valid reasons to fear the up and coming technologies as the study also unmasked their negative experiences online.

Most common incident faced by more than 3-in-10 respondents was an account takeover wherein someone got access to their accounts without their permission. More than a quarter (29%) also have some secret information seen by someone they would not want to see.

Over 2-in-10 also shared that someone got access to their devices forcibly (28%), their private information was either stolen or used without consent (24%) or was seen publicly (23%).

Aftermaths of these incidents include receiving spam and adverts (43%), stress (29%), causing embarrassment or offense (17%), reputational damage (15%), and monetary loss (14%).

Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky

“Our survey proves that unfortunate incidents can happen online and such have real-life repercussions. Technologies are meant to evolve for the greater good, however, there are always learning curves where a some amount of fear with action will be vital,” comments Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.

However, the same research revealed that there are still almost 2-in-10 users in the region who believe that internet security software is not required to protect their online lives. This perception is highest with Gen Z (17%), followed by Millennials (16%). There were both 15% of Gen X and Baby Boomers who also deem these solutions unnecessary.

“This is a cause of concern as we, humans, are prone to making errors from time to time and such solutions are meant to be our safety nets. While there is no silver bullet when it comes to cybersecurity, it is still important to have basic defenses in place. Business owners should particularly look into this as their IT infrastructure continues to flow from their safer enterprise networks to the more vulnerable individual houses,” adds Connell.

COVID-19 has caused an overnight remote working revolution, bringing with it new cyber-challenges for IT teams. Here’s Kaspersky’s tips on how to help homeworkers stay cyber-safe.

Teach your teams to become cyber-aware

Training is crucial to help your teams to become cyber-aware. Plan a program of learning, with a mix of online learning, classroom (virtual or real-world) and regular advice by email. You could test whether people can spot a phishing attack by setting up a fake phishing email.

To start, try this free 30-minute adaptive learning course by Kaspersky and Area9 Lyceum for those who are new to remote working to help them work safely from home with lessons about choosing strong passwords, the importance of endpoint protection and regular software updates.

Build a culture of trust

Unfortunately, in many larger organisations, there isn’t a culture of transparency between employees and IT on cyber matters. When people make mistakes, they’re either unaware of what they’ve done or are scared they’ll lose their job, so they may not formally report a data breach incident that ends up damaging the company. You need to build a culture of trust and transparency between employees and the IT team. Open communication is critical.

Advise against casual browsing on work devices

Casual browsing may lead to compromised network security, so make sure employees know this and encourage them to do personal things – like shopping, social media or reading news – on their own devices.

Patch employees’ machines

If your employees’ devices aren’t completely patched and up-to-date, the chances increase of hackers finding a vulnerability in your system. Remotely access their machine to patch or help them do it themselves over the phone. Even better, install an automated patching solution.

Ask people to change default passwords on home routers

Most home routers use a default password, which hackers can find and then get into the back end of the home network. Few people bother to change it because it’s a somewhat tricky process, but it will drastically improve employees’ cyber-defenses.  Show them how they can do it.

Read more about the report here: “Making Sense of Our Place in the Digital Reputation Economy”

On a lighter note, Now can get a special discount voucher of your choice with selected Kaspersky products available via https://www.lazada.com.my/shop/kaspersky/ or https://shopee.com.my/kaspersky.os,offer from 1 July 2021 till 31 July 2021.

About the survey

The Kaspersky “Making sense of our place in the digital reputation economy” report studies attitudes of individuals in Asia Pacific towards building a secure and reputable online identity on social media. It also looks into how tainted digital reputation of businesses are perceived.

The study was conducted by research agency YouGov in Australia, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam last November 2020. A total of 1,240 respondents were surveyed across the stated countries.

The respondents ranged from 18-65 years of age, all of which are working professionals who are active on social media (spending at least 1 hour a day on social media).

Through this paper, when the behaviour of the population of a market is generalised, it is in reference to the group of respondents sampled above.

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