Microsoft released data Tuesday in support of international Safer Internet Day that would give most good reason to reflect on how they might "Do One Thing" to stay safer online. Of the more than 10,000 consumers surveyed, about 13% said their professional reputation had been compromised, at an estimated loss of $4.5 billion worldwide.
In aggregate, Microsoft puts the cost of repairing the damage to online reputations at nearly $6 billion, or an estimated average of $632 per loss. This means education and guidance about how to avoid online risks remain key -- the reason why Microsoft launched the "Do One Thing" campaign.
It turns out only 30% of people surveyed report using Web sites with https, secure encrypted sites, and only one-third use secure wireless networks. There was $23 billion in financial losses in 2013 due to trouble online, and 9% said they had suffered identity theft at an average cost of $218. Yet two out of three don't secure their mobile device with a password.
Microsoft launched a Web site allowing Internet users worldwide to share how they plan to avoid online risks, learn what others do to protect themselves, and receive tips to enhance their time spent online.
The Web site also has an interactive live poll that lets people see how their actions online compare with others. For example, one poll asks "which potential online risk concerns you most?" The multiple choice answers range from financial loss to loss of privacy to data loss. Some 31% cite financial loss as the No. 1 risk concern; followed by 21%, loss of personal privacy; 19%, finding spyware, adware, or other tracking software on my device; and 9%, data loss.