Cybersecurity continues to be cut off between digitally free and non-free countries as freedom on the Internet wanes

Avast Digital Wellbeing Report shows that people in countries with greater digital freedom face fewer cybersecurity risks and stronger privacy regulations, yet privacy transparency remains an issue worldwide

PragueAnd the June 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – Avast (LSE: AVST), the global leader in digital security and privacy, has released its first Digital Wellbeing Report today. The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the well-being of Internet users around the world, with the unparalleled spread of disinformation, cybercriminals abusing unaware Internet users for fraud and cyberattacks, and many governments implementing authoritarian tactics. In its Digital Wellbeing Report, Avast revealed that people who live in countries with greater digital freedom are less at risk of cyberattacks, yet have the same lack of transparency in privacy policies as those who live in countries with less free internet.

The results of the Digital Wellbeing Report show that people living in free countries have a lower risk of experiencing a cyber attack (median: 30%) than people in partially (36%), or not free (36%) countries.

The results of the Digital Wellbeing Report show that people living in free countries have a lower risk of experiencing a cyber attack (median: 30%) than people in partially (36%), or not free (36%) countries.

“This vital report demonstrates that cyber attacks go hand in hand with online repression.” Mike AbramowitzFreedom House

“Our findings suggest that in cases where governments around the world restrict the freedom of their citizens online, there is a parallel increased risk of people falling victim to cyber-attacks. This is often associated with lower GDP in these countries resulting in The use of older systems that are more vulnerable to attack, and the use of free and potentially illegal content that is often less secure.However, discrimination has not been cut and dried – people in countries with greater digital freedom still face frequent attacks, our findings show That there is still work to be done when it comes to protecting privacy – in free and not free countries” Ondrej FlicicAvast CEO. “To solve the problem of digital freedom, there is a need for innovation in cybersecurity and digital trust solutions that will create greater security and transparency for all.”

For the Digital Wellbeing Report, Avast combined its own data on cybersecurity risks and privacy challenges with Freedom House’s data.Freedom on the Internet“The 2021 report, which assesses how much freedom people have in using the internet in a country, based on the presence of censorship and restrictions such as blocked social networks, censorship, or deliberately manipulated online discussions and disrupted ICT networks. Avast defines digital wellbeing as A combination of digital freedom, cybersecurity and privacy, with the internet user’s ability to use the internet in an open, orderly, private, secure and informed manner.

Amid troubling global trends that include the rise of cybercrime and malicious activity, and governments around the world adopting increasingly authoritarian tactics, today’s well-being and freedom of expression online are increasingly threatened across the globe. For the report, Avast compared data including the risk of becoming a victim of cyberattacks, the age of users’ computer system, and the presence, transparency and readability of privacy policies with data from Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net report, which assesses countries’ online freedom by looking at aspects such as Whether their government has banned social media platforms, intentionally disrupted ICT networks, or has arrested or physically harmed an ICT blogger or user for political or social content.

“This vital report demonstrates that cyber attacks go hand in hand with online repression. We are proud that Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net report learns about Avast’s work to advance digital wellbeing,” Mike AbramowitzPresident of Freedom House.

Less digital freedom, more online risks

The report found that people who live in free countries are less at risk of becoming a victim of a cyber attack (30%) than people in countries that live in partially free or not free countries (both 36%). This may be related to factors including a high rate of user rights abuse, blocking of cryptographic services, widespread state surveillance and data collection, and the presence of backdoors used for state monitoring, which indicates an indirect relationship between the Freedom Index on the network. The degree of the state and the percentage of risk in the face of a cyber attack. Moreover, the GDP per capita in non-free countries is often lower which can lead to increased usage of torrent sites to access free content, games and movies via unsecured sources, which in turn can expose users to a large number of online risks.

Risk of falling victim to a cyber attack
In the first ten free countries
(No. 1 being bone Free)

Risk of falling victim to a cyber attack
In the least ten countries are not free
(No. 1 being the least Free)

  • Iceland 33.2%

  • Estonia 30.8%

  • Canada 26.9%

  • Costa Rica 27.6%

  • Taiwan 36.6%

  • Germany 24.1%

  • France 27%

  • United Kingdom 24.4%

  • Georgia 33.6%

  • Italy 23.9%

Avast researchers also noted a correlation between the age of the operating systems in use and the risk of citizens being exposed to cyberattacks. By comparing the ranking in the Freedom House Freedom on the Net Index with Avast internal data, it can be inferred that in richer countries, such as those ranked higher in the index including GermanyAnd the France And in the UK, users tend to have updated operating systems, which can better protect them from cyber attacks. Conversely, users in countries that scored lower in the Freedom on the Net Index, such as IndonesiaAnd the turkeyAnd the BelarusOn average, it has a lower GDP per capita and tends to use more outdated operating systems, which increases the risk of cyberattacks. Researchers found that only 28% of users in free countries are still using outdated operating systems. By contrast, 38% of users in partially free countries use older systems, and this number is even higher in non-free countries according to the Freedom on the Net (41%).

Research shows that privacy policies are not enough

The report published today also found that privacy policies in general can be found more often in free countries, where websites in free countries (as defined by the Freedom on the Net) are more likely to have privacy policies in place (70%) than websites In countries considered partially free and not free (52% and 47%). However, the report also found that although privacy policies are more prevalent in free countries, there does not appear to be a direct relationship between the opacity and readability of these policies and the level of online freedom in those countries. In other words, it appears that just having a strong privacy policy in a country may not be enough to ensure adequate privacy protection for its citizens.

Privacy regulations such as GDPR in Europe and CCPA in . format California They require that users are informed about how their data is being used, which is supposed to create more transparency for the user. However, if privacy policies are written in a way that is vague and unreadable, this goal is essentially missed.” Ondrej Flicic.

Average readability for specificity of English
Policies in the Top 10 Free Countries (Higher is better)

Average readability for specificity of English
Politics in the least ten countries are not free
(No. 1 being the least free) / (higher is better)

  • Iceland 49%

  • Estonia 48%

  • Canada 45%

  • Costa Rica 46%

  • Taiwan 45%

  • Germany 49%

  • France 46%

  • UK 48%

  • Georgia 48%

  • Italy 44%

  • Myanmar 47%

  • Vietnam 49%

  • Saudi Arabia 46%

  • Pakistan 48%

  • Egypt 48%

  • United Arab Emirates 46%

  • Ethiopia 48%

  • Venezuela 48%

  • Russia 46%

  • Bahrain 46%

Metrics: <46% difficult to read; 46%-58% difficult to read; Please note that the data for the least free country, Chinathe tenth least free country, Uzbekistan They have not been evaluated and therefore are not included in this table.

This study is also based on Avast Digital Citizenship Report Posted in September 2021which has explored post-pandemic behaviors online, and is part of Avast’s efforts to understand how our online lives can be improved.

For more detailed information visit the full report: https://press.avast.com/digital-wellbeing-report

About Avast:

Avast (LSE: AVST), a FTSE 100 company, is a global leader in digital security and privacy, headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic. With more than 435 million users online, Avast offers products under the Avast and AVG brands that protect people from online threats and the evolving threat landscape of the Internet of Things. The company’s Threat Detection Network is among the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to detect and stop threats in real time. Avast digital security products For mobile, PC or Mac top-rated and certified by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, SE Labs, and more. Avast is a member of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, No More Ransom, and the Internet Watch Foundation. visit: www.avast.com.

Stay connected with Avast:

Media contact: Marina ZieglerPR@avast.com

Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of Avast (PRNewsfoto/Avast)

Ondrej Vlcek, CEO of Avast (PRNewsfoto/Avast)

Avast Software Logo (PRNewsfoto / Avast Software, Inc.)

Avast Software Logo (PRNewsfoto / Avast Software, Inc.)

Cision

Cision

View original content for multimedia download:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cybersecurity-disconnect-between-digitally-free-and-unfree-countries-persists-while-freedom-on-the-net-declines-301569947.html

Source: Avast Software, Inc.