Microsoft: U.S. Internet users not good with cyber security

Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group posted the results of an international study into online security this week, and they aren’t pretty. Using its specially-designed, 100-point Microsoft Computing Safety Index to rate global computer users, the company found five countries with failing scores.

The survey, available here, scores respondents in three categories: Foundational (40 points), Technical (30 points) and Behavioral (30 points). Each relates to a specific range of Internet activities.

Web denizens who actively manage their firewall, anti-virus software and security settings will score high in Foundational. Oppositely, those who frequent shady sites and use the same password everywhere flunk at Behavioral activity. Private people who delete cookies and refrain from sharing everything on Facebook are strong Technical users.

The MCSI breaks down the answers and provides one of three suggestions. Respondents who garner 80-100 points are doing great and should “stay the course.” A score of 0-19 suggests users should “get back to basics.” These folks aren’t even using free protection, said Microsoft.

Results from the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, France and Brazil averaged out to 13 points Foundational, nine points Technical and 12 points Behavioral for a total of 34. The U.S. pulled slightly ahead of the five country average with a 37.

If this was a classroom, all five countries would be sat in a corner with a dunce hat on. According to Microsoft’s index, these countries fall into the lowest rung of the 20-79 middle range and need to “take it up a notch.”

Of the five countries, Brazil holds the highest MCSI score. The U.S. came in second place. (via ThreatPost)

Take Microsoft’s quiz here and let us know how security savvy you are in the comment section. I placed above the U.S. average with a score of 56, though clearly have some work to do.