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Cyber security: Half of Manx people ‘risk being hacked’

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More than half of Manx people risk falling foul of online scams after admitting they use the same password for several accounts, a survey has found.

Nearly all respondents said they had received a fraudulent email, while only two thirds were confident in their online security.

The poll also found almost 40% did not know how to report a cyber-crime.

The statistics were based on the responses of more than 600 people.

The government survey revealed 53% of people used the same password for more than one account, while just 66% were confident they could protect themselves online adequately.

Commenting on the government’s findings, KPMG cyber security expert Bryan Beesley said, while “everyone hates long passwords”, making them more “complex” could make them harder to crack.

He said people could also increase security by avoiding “attributable” words such as pet names and birthdays, and by using a “password manager” and two-factor authentication.

For those who write down their passwords, Mr Beesley said they should be placed “somewhere they wouldn’t readily be found”.

The survey identified Facebook as the most popular social media platform on the island – ahead of WhatsApp – while most people used mobile phones to access the internet.

A total of 31% of people said they did not set their software to update automatically, while Mr Beesley said many “don’t do their updates quickly enough”.

He added software and app updates are “mostly about security” and often provide a fix for a “security flaw”.

In October, the Isle of Man government will host a cyber security conference in a bid to raise awareness.

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