43% of internet users nowadays have no idea what ransomware is.
A recent study is disclosing shocking results! 43% of internet users nowadays have no idea what ransomware is, despite the fact that this type of cyber threat has been aggressively spreading over the internet in recent times. Another 44% of all people do not know what type of information could be stolen in a ransomware attack. Are we really this ignorant?
This new study surveyed 4000 users from the United States and 1000 users from Canada, all aged of years 16 and above. After analyzing the results, only 16% of the people who took part in the survey said they are worried about ransomware as a form of an online threat. The results showed that users are more concerned about viruses, spyware, and Trojans. The majority of the tech-savvy generation doesn’t find ransomware as a serious worry in general, where only 13% of the participants recognize it as a cyber-threat.
The lack of ransomware knowledge is accompanied by unawareness about how risky a compromised computer could be. Many users do not know what malicious actors can do once they gain control over a PC, smartphone or tablet. They don’t know that cybercriminals can gain access to personal documents, photos, audio files, videos, passwords and more and lock them out for an illegal profit, or expose people to various vulnerabilities.
The research also reveals that users store mostly emotionally and financially valuable information on their digital devices. 26 % of Americans and 24 % of Canadians said that in the name of safety they would give up permanently on social media if that would ensure future protection of their personal data.
People admit that they do not know what to do if they are attacked by a ransomware.
Many of the respondents admit that they are not sure what should they do if they are attacked by a ransomware. The survey discovered that 15 % of Americans and 17 % of Canadians think that if they unplug the PC or turn the mobile device off, it could stop the attack. A small number of the users even believe they can negotiate with the cybercriminals in order to stop the attack.
An increase in ransomware activity has been observed recently, and security experts alarm it spreads almost as an epidemic. Even though this kind of cyber threat has been around from a while, new and more sophisticated ransomware strains keep appearing. The malicious scripts are turning out to be a real challenge to security researchers and experts and the increasing number of victims of this particular type of malware could cause serious concerns.
The key for online safety and prevention lies in increasing the end users’ awareness about ransomware threats and their various methods. Not only that, but also the need of obtaining malware protection along with the virus protection is a priority, as well as developing habits for a safe online activity.