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Internet users remain lax on online security

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The importance of online security cannot and should not be underestimated, still 4% of Hungarians use online banking services on public computers.

While internet access and subscriptions are on the rise in Hungary, the majority of users do not seem too concerned with protecting their private information. According to a recent survey among people aged between 18 and 69 who go online at least once a week, 58% of adults use their friends’ or colleagues’ computers to check personal emails, while 34% do not hesitate to use public computers for this purpose.

Moreover, almost 10% of respondents used friends’ computers to do their online banking, while 4% do not see a problem with doing so on publicly available computers. A small proportion (3%) even use friends’ computers to do their online shopping, which requires providing credit card information; 1% do the same on public computers.

Younger people seem to expose themselves to online risks more often than the older generations. For example, more than 70% of respondents aged between 18 and 29 use friends’ computers to check their email, while only 47% of the 40-47 age group do so.

Social media continues to gain popularity: according to Internet World Stats, there are some 3.36 million Facebook subscribers in Hungary. However, security threats that come along with the ability to post pictures and connect with friends are numerous. For example, every time a user installs an application on Facebook, he or she releases bundles of personal information to a third party, such as email address, phone number, physical address, interests, photos, network data and others.

The need for internet security awareness becomes increasingly pressing as more and more people go online on a regular basis. Half (49%) of the Hungarian population used the internet every day, or almost every day, in 2010, according to Eurostat. Meanwhile, 4% of users reported abuse of personal information and 2% suffered financial loss due to “phishing”, “pharming” or payment card abuse. SA

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