New research from Microsoft shows Americans need to focus on online safety basics

The latest edition of the Microsoft Computing Safety Index shows the majority of U.S. consumers are not leveraging basic tools that could help them better manage their online transactions and protect their personal data.

“The third annual Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI), a gauge to help assess consumer online habits and behaviors, shows that only 40 percent of U.S. respondents, on average, say they’ve turned on their computer’s firewall and left it on,” writes Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer Jacqueline Beauchere in a blog post over on Microsoft on the Issues. “This is down seven and 10 percentage points, respectively, from the 2012 and 2011 Indices. Data tell a similar story when consumers self-report about installing antimalware software, and turning on and running automatic updates.”

The Microsoft Computing Safety Index was released last week at an “@Microsoft Conversation” series event in Washington, D.C., entitled, “Online Safety: Past, Present and Future.” A signature aspect of the @Microsoft Conversation was a panel discussion moderated by Family Online Safety Institute Founder and CEO Stephen Balkam. Other panelists included: Beauchere; Parry Aftab, executive director of Wired Safety; Amanda Lenhart, senior researcher and director of teens and technology at Pew Research Center and Jack McArtney, director of Corporate and Community Responsibility at Verizon.

For the rest of this story, head on over to Microsoft on the Issues.

You might also be interested in:

· Use Bing Pulse to join the conversation on the FOX News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier”
· Check out the Sept. 2013 Security Bulletin from the Microsoft Security Response Center
· School kids say “Find Us Maybe” with Mystery Skype

Jeff Meisner
Microsoft News Center Staff