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Survey Concludes Cybercriminals Topmost Source of Distrust in India

More than one in three (37 per cent) Indians plan to use or purchase cryptocurrencies within the next year, the survey warned

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A man types on a computer keyboard in front of displayed cyber code in this illustration picture. VOA

By Vishal Gulati

Cybercriminals remain the number one source of distrust in the Internet in India where 79 per cent of people say social media companies contribute to their distrust — up from 74 per cent in 2018.

Simultaneously, 60 per cent Indians are aware of the data protection and privacy rules, a figure which is quite healthy against the global average of 44 per cent.

These were the findings released on Tuesday as part of the 2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust.

It was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), in partnership with the Internet Society (ISOC) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey, now in its fifth year, is the world’s largest and most comprehensive survey of Internet security and trust, involving more than 25,000 Internet users in over 24 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

The survey says cybercriminals in India contribute 85 per cent of distrust, followed by social media (79 per cent), own government (66 per cent) and foreign government (65 per cent).

In terms of fake news in India, Facebook (75 per cent) is the common source, followed by social media platforms and YouTube (72 per cent each), websites (63 per cent) and television (53 per cent).

Globally, social media companies emerged as the leading source of user distrust in the Internet — surpassed only by cyber criminals — with 75 per cent of those surveyed who distrust the Internet citing Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms as contributing to their lack of trust.

While cyber criminals, cited by 81 per cent of those who distrust the Internet, remained the leading source of distrust, a majority in all regions (62 per cent globally) indicated that a lack of Internet security was also a critical factor.

“This year’s survey of global attitudes not only underscores the fragility of the Internet, but also netizens’ growing discomfort with social media and the power these corporations wield over their daily lives,” Fen Osler Hampson, a distinguished fellow at CIGI and director of its Global Security and Politics programme, said.

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Image source: wordpress.com

As per the survey, 92 per cent Indians are increasingly concerned about their online privacy and security.

At the same time, 71 per cent Indians agree the government does enough to safeguard their online data and personal information. And about four in 10 are familiar with blockchain technologies.

“The survey results tell us that people around the world are increasingly concerned about their privacy and security online,” said Sally Wentworth, Vice-President of Global Policy Development for the Internet Society.

“However, we also see that users aren’t utilizing tools like encryption that can help secure their communications. From keeping messages private to protecting critical infrastructure, encryption is an essential tool for digital security.”

While 73 per cent said they wanted their online data and personal information to be stored in their own country, majorities in Hong Kong (62 per cent), Indonesia, Egypt, India (57 per cent), Brazil and Mexico said they wanted their online data and personal information stored outside of their country.

One in 10 (12 per cent) globally admit to accessing the dark web, with higher percentages in India (26 per cent), Russia (22 per cent) and Brazil (21 per cent).

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Two-thirds (66 per cent) of global citizens — a majority in every country surveyed — believe the dark web should be shut down. In India, 67 per cent favours this.

However, this number is down from 71 per cent in 2016.

However, a digital divide is evident between the world’s developed and developing economies when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

More than one in three (37 per cent) Indians plan to use or purchase cryptocurrencies within the next year, the survey warned. (IANS)

Next Story

Microsoft Ready to Help Indian Startups, Says President Anant Maheshwari

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Armed with a cutting-edge technology platform, a well-established partner organisation and an expansion of M12 venture fund, Microsoft is ready to help Indian startups across the spectrum embrace the next phase of growth, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India, said here on Monday.

India, which saw a tremendous growth in the startup space in the last couple of years, is now witnessing a growth in the business-to-business (B2B) tech startups coming up with innovative ideas to deal with local problems.

“With our intelligent tech expertise, deep focus on trust and unique global go to market partnering, we empower unicorns and startups to scale sustainably at a global level,” said Maheshwari.

“We remain excited about India’s entrepreneurial startup potential and will continue to accelerate it as a growth engine for the economy,” he added.

India witnessed a dramatic rise of eight unicorns in 2018 from among the start-ups across verticals as against a mere nine in six years from 2011 till 2017, according to IT industry apex body Nasscom.

The start-ups joining the select club for their valuation over $1 billion are Oyo Rooms (hospitality), Zomato and Swiggy (food delivery), Udaan (retailer marketplace), Byju’s, (edu-tech), Paytm Mall (e-tail), Freshworks (software programmer) and Policybazaar (digital insurance).

Maheshwari said Microsoft is uniquely positioned to support Indian startups to achieve scale and evolve from market ready to enterprise ready.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

The introduction of M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, in India in February is creating new value for startups, VCs and the company itself to maintain the pace and direction of innovation.

“M12 is looking at investing in innovators who have aligned their focus on cutting-edge technologies that better enable digital transformation. The portfolio development team at M12 is specifically built to help support and scale companies by leveraging the expansive resources of Microsoft,” said the company.

According to reports, venture capital investments in Indian tech business-to-business (B2B) start-ups have been trending upwards, with over $3.09 billion raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018 — 28 per cent more than $2.41 billion in 2017.

Also Read: Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

Under the “Microsoft for Startups” initiative, startups can co-sell with Microsoft sales teams, get access to top tech VCs in the global arena and mentorship from industry veterans.

In less than 18 months, Microsoft for Startups has closed more than 120 co-sell deals with more than $126 million in active pipeline for startups.

Microsoft is focused as much on selling third party solutions as their own, and this co-sell motion has helped generate $8 billion in revenue for partners within 18 months. (IANS)