Internet users in Japan are risking themselves to cyberattacks by not putting their cybersecurity knowledge to good use.
This is according to the ESET Japan Cyber-Savviness Report 2016 which polled more than 1,000 respondents in Japan to gain insights about their attitudes, knowledge and user behaviour when it comes to cybersecurity.
Cyber-savviness is based on factors such as the knowledge or ability of the users to understand activities that are likely to make them vulnerable online, risky behaviours while surfing the web, and proactive measures they can take to protect themselves online.
According to the survey, over 70 percent of respondents did not receive any formal education about cybersecurity but at least four out of five respondents are able to answer basic questions about cybersecurity.
This result is the highest among other Asia Pacific markets covered in ESET Asia Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 and the ESET Vietnam Cyber-Savviness Report 2015 which include Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Vietnam, in that order.
In addition, majority of polled Internet users in Japan did not expose themselves to much risk. The survey revealed that 86 percent know to immediately disconnect a breach from the Internet and more than half (71 percent) do not open or download attachments from unknown senders.
However, the survey found out a gap between user awareness and implementation of security measures. For instance, while 96 percent of respondents believe that different passwords should be used for different accounts, only one in five do so.
In addition, less than half of the respondents take proactive measures to protect themselves from cyberattacks such as running virus scans regularly (48 percent), updating software (44 percent), using strong and complex passwords (42 percent), only accessing trusted / reputed websites (41 percent), and setting passwords on personal devices (38 percent).
Besides that, only a small proportion of respondents regularly backed up their important data (34 percent), avoided using free public Wi-Fi (20 percent), and changed passwords regularly (17 percent).
In line with these findings, three quarters of the respondents are not confident of protecting themselves from cyberattacks.
"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 of ESET Asia-Pacific.
"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 across the country," added Walia.