Digital uncertainty – scams, privacy and AI

How do people feel about a changing internet?

Credential phishing targets ESPs through ESPs

Scams, they’re not exactly new – from phishing sites to dodgy emails, most of us have been subjected to it as long as we’ve had an account to receive emails. But, as life has evolved and adapted to the internet, so have online scams. Now they’re everywhere, from social media to dating apps to online gaming platforms.

On top of all that, the perception of online privacy continues to morph, and with the recent addition of A.I, it all leads to a very confusing digital picture for most people.

So, to figure out how people are navigating that landscape, and how they are feeling about scams, privacy and A.I, we ran a survey asking ordinary people what they thought.

Scams, scams and more scams

Kicking things off with scams, dodgy links and phishing emails, we asked people a simple question: where were they seeing scams? Surprisingly (or not to those using the apps) the largest portion of them were in online dating apps, closely followed by Facebook and Facebook Marketplace. Whilst this might be a surprise to some, to fraudsters, it’s a no-brainer – they have a captive audience, and with just enough social engineering, they can usually hook people into sending them money. In fact, 24% of dating app users said they’d actually fallen foul of such scams.

graph showing different data bars of people's thoughts on where they see digital scams

Digital habits

In the survey we also asked people about their digital habits, and how they’re looking to avoid data theft, hacked accounts and phishing links. Most people (65%) said they’re trying to be more mindful of links they click on whist 57% said they were going to use stronger passwords.

Whilst these are good steps, adding an additional layer of security (2-factor authentication, or multi-factor authentication) is probably the best and simplest step most people can take to shore up their digital security – and it’s promising to see that 48% of those surveyed said they were going to do just that.

Generative A.I

Moving onto the final part of the report: A.I. How are consumers feeling about it, and are they worried about it? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag – many feel it’ll be helpful for digital privacy and security in the near future, whilst many also fell the opposite. However most agreed that deep-fake video and audio will be used to sow mistrust and misinformation (there already is, sadly).

Where next?

Adaptation is something that people don’t give themselves enough credit for – in the space of just 25 years, we’ve gone from no internet to it percolating to every facet of our life. So most likely we’ll get used to A.I and wonder how we ever managed without it before – but as it advances ever forward, the worries are that it’ll also be used for nefarious deeds. Indeed, there are already AI apps that can write convincing phishing emails and much more. But whilst all this is true, security tools such as ours can help you stay safe and secure, what ever you’re doing and where every you’re going.