EMC and NCSA Offer Free Online Identity Risk Calculator

BEDFORD, Mass., Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

News Summary:

  • EMC has collaborated with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to offer the Online Identity Risk Calculator, a free interactive assessment tool designed to help educate consumers about their personal exposure to online threats.
  • Offered immediately to consumers worldwide as a free tool accessible on Facebook via PC and on mobile web browsers at www.emc.com/fraudgame, it is designed to calculate an individual's personal online identity risk score in an effort to promote cyber security awareness and digital responsibility.
  • The Online Identity Risk Calculator measures participant's exposure to potential internet-borne threats against behavioral and usage criteria tied to activities such as online banking, gaming, shopping, social networks, email and mobile applications.
  • Initial data collected from nearly 2,000 participants worldwide since Aug. 2012 indicates patterns of online risk exposure that are highest among young adults ages 18-24, particularly tied to online banking, social networks and mobile app downloads.

Full Story:

In partnership with and support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2012, EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) and RSA, The Security Division of EMC®, today announced the availability of the Online Identity Risk Calculator, a free interactive assessment tool for PC and mobile device users designed to help educate consumers about their personal exposure to online threats.

The Online Identity Risk Calculator engages consumers to respond to 10 simple questions designed to calculate an individual's personal online identity risk score (ranging from 0-100). Participants answer questions about online activities such as banking, gaming, shopping, mobile app usage, social networking, email and more. Participants using the Online Identity Risk Calculator contribute anonymous demographic data along with answers about their online behavior. As much as the Online Risk Calculator helps users determine their own personal exposure to potential risks, it also serves to educate consumers about specific online threats and how everyday behavior may increase or decrease exposure to cyber threats such as phishing, identity theft and malware infection via mobile apps and social networks.

Initial Results

To date, close to 2,000 individuals ages 18 and older across 65 countries have used the Online Identity Risk Calculator to determine their risk profile. Of the participants, 33% were female and 67% were male. Overall, the average risk score for all participants was 33, with the average for females being 34 and the average for males being 33. Young adults age 18-24 indicate the riskiest behavior online when it comes to sharing information on social networks (use 3 to 5 social networks), and on average the highest mobile application downloads (5 to 10 or more app downloads). Online banking was a common risk activity for both males and females alike, with 60 percent of respondents accessing their banking online once a week or more. Female participants in the U.S. additionally ran into risks with lower frequency for monitoring personal credit reports (Once every 3 to 6 months), while their male counterparts saw increased risk scores in the area of mobile app downloads (5 to 10 or more app downloads).

Average risk scores varied significantly by country. Of the 20 countries with the greatest number of respondents, the highest average risk scores came from those in Egypt, Great Britain, and Afghanistan, while the lowest average risk scores came from participants in Israel, Italy, and Japan. The activities among all participants that affect the greatest potential user exposure to online threats were tied to email, online banking, mobile apps, and social networks.

Executive Quotes:

David Martin, Chief Security Officer, EMC Corporation and NCSA Board Member

"By now, most online consumers hear a regular drumbeat about computer viruses and hackers, but it's not always clear how each of us, through our own everyday use of the web might be affected by online threats. Usually that understanding happens only after we personally experience something bad. In partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance, we're sharing the Online Identity Risk Calculator because we believe it not only helps individuals better understand how their online activities may make them more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud, but also provides them with prevention tips that can help reduce their exposure to potential online threats."

Michael Kaiser, Executive Director, National Cyber Security Alliance

"The good news is that initial data from the nearly 2,000 people who used the Online Identity Risk Calculator seems to indicate a low overall exposure to online threats based on their behaviors tied to many basic things most of us do online every day. But no one should be complacent since cybercriminals are constantly evolving their attacks through more sophisticated phishing emails and websites, rogue mobile apps and Trojans that can expose consumers to identity fraud, malware infections and even the takeover of online bank accounts. Everyone should remember to STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and take security precautions, understand the consequences of their behaviors and actions online and enjoy the benefits of the Internet. Education and awareness efforts, like the Online Identity Risk Calculator serve as an important reminder for all of us to stay safe online."

Key Highlights of Online Risk Calculator Participant Data (1,922 individuals):

  • 60% of respondents accessed their online banking account at least once a week or more.
  • 67% of respondents make purchases online once a month or more.
  • 13% of respondents use three or more social networking sites.
  • 53% of respondents downloaded more than five mobile apps last year.
  • Female age group with highest online identity risk scores (37 of 100) was 25-32.
  • Male age group with highest online identity risk scores (36 of 100) was 18-24.
  • Overall, participants indicated they have the least risk exposure to online gaming and entering sweepstakes online.
  • Males aged 18-24 were three times more likely to play online games than their female counterparts.
  • Overall, female participants indicated they rarely played online games and were most likely to update their anti-virus software frequently.

Use the Online Identity Risk Calculator

EMC and NCSA encourage everyone to visit www.StaySafeOnline.org to view more information about how to keep yourself, your organization and your sensitive information safe and secure online at home, work and school. The Online Risk Calculator is available via PC or mobile device at www.emc.com/fraudgame.

Additional Resources:

About The National Cyber Security Alliance

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is a non-profit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to educate and empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Trend Micro, Verizon and Visa. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline.

About EMC

EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at www.EMC.com

EMC and RSA are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other products and/or services referenced are trademarks of their respective companies.

SOURCE EMC Corporation