All-round Cyber Security. As every year, February 8 was celebrated all over the world Safer Internet Dayan international day to raise awareness of the risks involved in using the web and which aims to promote safer and more responsible use, particularly among children and young people all over the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic has definitely increased cyber risk, giving hackers more and more chances of attack. The months of lockdown due to the health emergency have put a strain on our online safety: smart working, distance learning, e-commerce that becomes an increasingly used method of purchase, have exposed us to risks to which we weren’t quite prepared.
Italians more and more online
The habits of use of devices have changed compared to the pre-Covid period: most Italians spend more and more time using the various devices than before the pandemic. To say it is the investigation Cyber & Digital protection carried out for Europ Assistance by Lexis Research on a representative sample of the Italian population.
Sphones and computers are the favorite devices for adults: respectively, they are used for more than two hours by 56% and 48% of the sample. Compared to 2020, there is a reduction in the percentage of people who spend more than two hours on the computer e an increase in the frequency of use of the smartphone.
Young people and the internet: Cyberbullying worries families
The research shows a massive use also by minors under 18: 35% of them spend at least two hours a day on their smartphone, 23% at least two hours on the tablet and 19% on the computer. This disproportionate use of the web worries parents about online crimes directed against their children: the main concern is bullying, followed by luring by sexual predators.
Greater awareness but little knowledge of risks and protection tools
Cybercrime is still a growing phenomenon and Italians are increasingly aware of the increase in cyber risks associated with operating in a digital context: 38% of consumers perceive a higher cyber risk than in the pre-Covid period.
Information technologies are increasingly used, the exchange of data and information is growing exponentially to the detriment of human contact and this exposes us more and more to risks: in Italy 13% of respondents in 2021 have been the victim of an attack on their personal data and 20% know someone who has suffered such an attack. It should be noted that the 49% of cyber attacks have occurred in the past year.
In contrast to these data, cybercrime is a perceived danger but against which Italians still do little, 58% of the sample declares to know solutions to protect their identity online but the figure in question is down by 2% compared to to 2020. And again, only 41% of respondents often change their passwords / credentialsie, even worse, 15% never or almost never change them.
To date, the protection methods considered most effective are, as in 2020, anti-virus / anti-malware and strengthened authentication systems such as two or more factor authentication.
Another important aspect concerns the trust in online means of defense: Italians demonstrate a general reduction in the perception of effectiveness of all protection methods.
Despite a slight increase compared to 2020, anti-ransomware are little known: only 35% know what they are and, in line with 2020, an even lower percentage have them on their devices.
Identity theft and online fraud remain the main danger
As in 2020, the possibility of being a victim of identity theft is the highest concern among people, reaching 54% of the sample. Fear of their online privacy being violated (54%, +4 points compared to 2020), that someone will commit a crime using their stolen data online (53% in 2021 compared to 47% in 2020) or that someone will violate theirs Email (52% vs 51%) are the biggest concerns in terms of web usage and identity theft.
Overall, there is an increase in concern over the 2020 it sees the most alarmed target between the ages of 35 and 44: for more than 40% of the interviewees, the exposure of their children remains the main concern, followed by personal concern and, finally, by that for elderly parents. Those over 75 are the least worriedonly 33% perceive the IT risk.
“The pandemic has changed our habits, opening us to an increasingly pushed use of the services provided digitally. This increased exposure of our and our children’s data is fertile ground for cybercrime attacks based on identity theft. Likewise, small and medium-sized enterprises, the entrepreneurial fabric of our country, have increasingly become a target of cybercrime aimed at extortion. The Europ Assistance group, with many years of experience in protecting personal identity, provides its customers with technologies, services and people who can help them truly take control of what happens to their data online and act promptly in the event of a breach “he affirmed Riccardo Torchio, Chief Personal Officer of Europ Assistance Italia.