Online attacks drop amid rising awareness

Updated: 2016-01-23 04:25

By CAO YIN(China Daily)

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The number of Chinese netizens who suffered online attacks fell last year as Internet companies and users increased their awareness of protecting cybersecurity, according to a report on Friday.

Issued by the China Internet Network Information Center, the report said that 42.7 percent of netizens reported online security problems last year, a year-on-year fall of 3.6 percent.

The most serious security threats concerned netizens' computers and smartphones being infected by viruses or Trojan horses, which affected 24.2 percent of netizens, followed by users whose online accounts or passwords were stolen, with 22.9 percent affected.

Li Yuxiao, head of the Internet Management Law Research Center at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, said the alleviation of online security problems is due to joint efforts by Internet companies, netizens and governments.

"Laws and rules on cybersecurity have been increased and accelerated since last year, showing the leadership's determination to protect cyberspace," Li said.

Many netizens and enterprises have realized the need to protect themselves and have upgraded their online products and services, he added.

Guo Xunping, vice-president of Bangcle, a Beijing company that provides security services for mobile devices, said more smartphone app providers have volunteered to install security software or reinforce protection measures.

"In the past, we had to persuade them to strengthen security protection before they put apps online, but now many apps ... have made security their priority," Guo said.

But both security experts voiced concern over booming online shopping and suggested that Internet users and service providers improve their ability to discover security loopholes.

By December, 416 million out of 688 million Chinese netizens preferred to use online payments, an increase of 36.8 percent year-on-year, the report said.

Li Xiao'ou, 28, a Beijing resident, said he seldom uses e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, China's largest online shopping service, claiming that "the payment sections are not safe enough".

"Most of the time, I use the payment apps of online banks ... or I pay on delivery," Li said.

The report said that security problems caused by online consumption are increasing. For example, 16.4 percent of netizens were cheated as they shopped online, a 3.8 percent increase year-on-year.