Frontpage News 2015 Danes are forgetti...

Danes are forgetting to protect themselves online

9 October 2015

Press release

Danes are not competent enough when it comes to protecting their own confidential information online. Figures from the Agency for Digitisation (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen) show that Danes often reuse passwords, save pictures of their NemID code cards on phones and do not protect their information against various cyberattacks on smart phones and tablets.

Danes are increasingly subject to cyberattacks from digital tricksters attempting to misuse their information.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of hacker attacks and phishing emails, where fraudsters try to cheat unsuspecting internet users of their username, password or credit card details.
“We want to help Danes become better at protecting themselves online. We’ll do this first and foremost by explaining how to carry out necessary security procedures with confidential information. However, we will also inform people of things to be aware of with phishing emails that attempt to deceive recipients,” Head of Division at the Agency for Digitisation, Cecile Christensen says. “It’s important to be aware that a public authority, NemID and your bank will never ask you to submit your NemID code card,” she states.

Large-scale reuse of passwords

For example, it is a problem that 41% of Danes reuse their passwords. This is particularly prominent amongst young people under 20 years old, where 56% reuse passwords, while this only applies to 30% of people over the age of 65.
“Two of the most common passwords are ‘123456’ and ‘password’. In general, we should try to create as large a variation as possible in our passwords. Young people have a lot more logins to different online services and it can be difficult to remember them all, but you’re running a risk if you use the same password for Facebook and your online bank,” Cecile Christensen said.

Smart phones account for a large “at risk” group

Photographic copies of NemID code cards on phones also constitute a considerable security risk. The interest group for banks, the Danish Bankers Association observes an increased risk of bank customers having their accounts misused after photographing and saving their NemID code card on their phones.
”If an unauthorised person gains access to your phone or tablet, where there is a picture of your NemID code card, they can collect your bank information and other sensitive data,” Executive Director at the Danish Bankers Association, Michael Busk-Jepsen says. He additionally stated that it is especially people in the age group 30-39 years old, who store code cards digitally.
According to figures from the Agency for Digitisation, only a third of Danes protect their smart phones in comparison with 84% who protect their computers.
“Many users live with a false sense of security that they are protected against viruses and hacking on tablets and phones. But threats against mobile platforms are a growing problem that we need to become better at rectifying together in the future. At the moment, Danes need to pay particularly close attention to what we call ‘smishing’, where users are duped into handing over confidential information to IT criminals via a link sent in an SMS on smart phones and tablets,” Head of Division at the Agency for Digitisation, Cecile Christensen explained.
The figures in this press release are based on the reports “DKCERT Trend Report (2014)” (DKCERT Trendrapport (2014)), “Citizens’ Information Security (2015)” (Borgernes informationssikkerhed (2015)) and “Nets – code card and security (2015)” (Nets – nøglekort og sikkerhed (2015)).

Facts: What you need to be aware of 

  • Never photograph your NemID code card on your phone.
  • Keep operating systems and programs updated.
  • Use security programs (antivirus, antispyware, firewall software etc.).
  • Be careful when opening attached files or links that you received without asking.
  • Use secure passwords consisting of at least eight characters, preferably more.Codes should be made up of capital and small letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Do not use the same password for different services.
  • Do not click on links in emails that ask for confidential information.
  • Protect your mobile devices and wireless network with a code.
  • If you use an unprotected wireless network set your phone to forget it when you are finished.
Source: DKCERT, the Agency for Digitisation and the Danish Bankers Association


Contact information:
Thomas Søie Hansen
Journalist, the Danish Bankers Association
Tel.: +45 3016 1098
Email: [email protected]
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