Cybersecurity and trust in Spanish homes

As in any other field, everything has positive and negative parts and the Internet is not an exception, despite the potential and the infinity of advantages and possibilities that it offers, there is still a certain apprehension  to carry out online transactions or register our data, for fear of that our personal information is in the wrong hands. The use of internet to buy, do online procedures is increasingly extended, but do we see it as safe? How do users perceive the dangers of the Internet? What do they do to protect themselves? Do the protection systems they use work? We tell you about Cybersecurity and trust.

The Telecommunications National Observatory and the Information Society (ONTSI) has recently published the results of its latest study on cybersecurity and trust in Spanish homes. The data was obtained through online surveys to 3,665 homes (declared use) and direct observation with Pinkerton software (real use).

The objective of this study was to analyze the real state of cybersecurity and digital trust among Spanish Internet users, as well as to impulse specialized and useful knowledge in the field of cybersecurity and privacy,  in order to improve the implementation of measures by the users

The study differentiates two types of security measures: automatable, that do not require any action by the user, and non-automatable, which do have an active character. The automation measure most used by users is the antivirus program once again, while, of the non-automatable, the passwords also remain in the first place.

Regarding Wifi networks, most (38.6%) use a WPA2 standard for their protection, but the percentage of users who do not know whether their network is protected or not is growing.

Android security

The operating system Android 6 becomes the most used (36.5%) leaving Android 5 in third place, just below Android 4, which remains in 29.6% of the devices analyzed.

The terminal remote locking systems and secure unlocking by PIN or pattern experience the greatest growth in the declared use by the surveyed and is the most used protection system (76.8%), followed closely by antivirus and automatic blocking.

In the comparison with the declared use with the actual use, large discrepancies occur with this data. The biggest dissonance is the use of the secure unlocking system, with 52% less difference. The main reason declared by Spanish Internet users for not using non-automatable security measures is they are not in need of them or are not interested in them.

Behavior Habits in the navigation and use of Internet

Bank and commerce service users through the Internet maintain good behavior habits in general. Prepaid cards or purse continue to be the least used (38.5%), while closing session at the end and monitor movements periodically the most used.

In relation to Internet service registrations, the previous trend continues: more than half of users (56.1%) declare they don’t read the conditions and legal information before accepting them.

In social networks, the majority (50.7%) keeps their privacy restricted to their friends and contacts, although 6% don’t know how their privacy is configured.

Malware incidents

Among the computers analyzed, 53.2% had viruses and their users had not noticed.

In Android devices this gap decreases: users didn’t perceive the presence of malware in 23.6% of the devices in which Pinkerton found infections. Trojans and advertising adware experience remarkable growth (11.4% on average) compared to the last period.

65.6% of the computers in Spanish homes analyzed with Pinkerton are infected with at least one known malware sample. Of these, 71.9% show a high level of risk due to the potential danger posed by the malicious files found in them.

Consequences of online incidents

In the first semester of 2017, detections of banking Trojans, ransomware and rogueware increased in the computers of Spanish homes. Among Android devices analyzed with Pinkerton, rogueware stands out as the most detected Trojan subcategory.

The use of cautious habits leads to a minimization of the risk of consummation of an attempted fraud. In all cases, a percentage higher than 93.5% of users who have good habits didn’t suffer any kind of economic detriment as a result of an attempted fraud.

Among those users who have suffered an identity theft stands out the change of passwords as the main change in habits (53.8%). After receiving an invitation to visit a suspicious web page, 65.6% of online banking users and 66% of electronic commerce modify their habits.


Trust in the digital field

In recent analyzes a reduction in Internet trust has been observed by users. For the first time in the study, a minimum of 39.9% of users who trust enough or a lot on the Internet are reached.

Two thirds of users estimate that their computer equipment or mobile device is reasonably protected from potential Internet threats.

The main risk in Internet according to the perception of the users is the theft and use of personal information (45.8%).

The dangers most valued by the panelists are the infection of malware in their equipment / device (81.9%), the access, sharing, loss or theft of personal files (79.5%) and the voluntary cession of personal data (72.6%).

Internet users say that the spread of threats is due to the low caution of the users themselves (64.6%) and that their actions have consequences in cybersecurity (44.1%). On the other hand, 44.7% think that it is necessary to assume certain risks to enjoy the Internet.

Conclusions of the study on cybersecurity

Cybersecurity and trust has reached a historical minimum in this latest study of 2017, only 39.9% of users declare that they have a lot or enough trust on the Internet. Possibly, this result is due to the amount of news that has been appearing about security incidents.

One of the most significant incidents was the ransomware ‘WannaCrypt’, a network worm that took advantage of a Windows vulnerability. Cyber ​​attackers have discovered that companies and public entities are the targets of those who derive the more benefits.

This does not mean that personal computers are out of danger, since there are also cybercriminals who take advantage of this vulnerability to use the users’ resources without their consent to create cryptocurrency networks and thus obtain an economic benefit.

Users believe that malware infections are the greatest risk of the Internet, but more than half of computers and almost a quarter of Android devices have viruses without their knowledge, so it is important to raise awareness about protection systems.