When it comes to cybersecurity, many users in Japan don't practice what they preach.
According to the ESET Japan Cyber-Savviness Report 2016, users in Japan are well informed about cybersecurity and tend to shy away from taking risks online, but they still have a ways to go before they are adequately protected from cybercrime.
More than 70 percent of Japanese survey respondents said they didn't have any formal cybersecurity training, yet 80 percent were able to answer basic cybersecurity questions. If they were to discover that a connected device had been breached, 86 percent of respondents knew to immediately disconnect it from the internet. Seventy-one percent said they knew not to open attachments from strangers. More than half said they only conduct financial transactions on trusted web sites.
Japanese users were the most cybersecurity-savvy in the region, ESET found. They had higher cybersafety scores than respondents surveyed for the ESET Asia Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 and the ESET Vietnam Cyber-Savviness Report 2015. Japanese users scored higher than respondents from seven other Asia-Pacific markets including Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Vietnam, in that order.
ESET measures cybers-savviness on whether users understand which behaviors put them at risk online and how they can protect themselves from cybercriminals.
“In Asia-Pacific, Japan has always taken the lead in technology adoption and innovation. The country relies on data, online communications and information technology to drive innovation and efficiency, resulting in increased exposure to cybersecurity risks,” said Parvinder Walia, Sales and Marketing Director, ESET Asia-Pacific.
While the Japan survey found that users were aware of cybersecurity best practices, many didn't actually do what they knew was best.
According to the survey, 96 percent of respondents knew the same password for different accounts was risky, but only one in five actually used different passwords for all of their online accounts. Sixty-five percent of respondents said they don't change their passwords frequently, and 40 percent leave themselves perpetually signed-in to accounts.
“The ESET Japan Cyber-Savviness Report 2016 highlights that even with all the technological advancements in Japan, there are still holes within the country’s cybersecurity fabric that need to be filled. To help users in Japan feel confident as they make use of various technologies, there is an urgent need to ensure that users take concrete preventive steps while continuing to strengthen cybersecurity awareness," said Walia.
“All it takes to fend off cyber criminals is the consistent use of simple preventive measures. It’s a shame that so many people are not actively using their knowledge of cybersecurity when little things like maintaining proper passwords could help alleviate their anxieties and enable them to use the Internet safely and with confidence.”