A recent Kaspersky Lab International Ltd. survey on the daily Internet activities has revealed the UAE users are more likely to use a variety of online services to communicate and amuse themselves. Email, social networks, and online video were the most popular, with almost 85%, 83% and 82% of users dealing with them correspondently every day. And if the world average for email activity is almost the same (86%), the interest in social networks and online video worldwide is approximately 10% lower than in the UAE.
The next group of the most popular activities includes downloading free software (68%), communicating via video calling services as Skype (62%), and listening to music or the radio over the web (60%). And to point it out, the popularity of video-and-voice services among the UAE Internet users is significantly higher than average in the world – the difference rises up to 30%.
Besides, half of all UAE Internet users are keen on communicating via instant messaging (56%) or gaming (50%). Nearly the same percentage of people (54%) uses the Internet as a source of multimedia content – music, films, and videos. The addiction to these activities generally corresponds to the world averages for them.
Meanwhile, the number of UAE citizens who use the Internet to perform financial transactions is well below the world average. However, the number of users shopping or banking online is growing steadily. Currently more than 46% of UAE users make online purchases every day and a little more than 45% actively use online banking systems.
According to the survey, people in the UAE are increasingly using the opportunities provided by the World Wide Web, with many of the respondents saying they couldn’t imagine their lives without daily access to the Internet. Unfortunately, this high level of activity also extends to malware writers, hackers and other malicious users – every day Kaspersky Lab’s analysts detect more than 128 thousand of new cyber threats. An analysis of cyber-threat distribution in Q3 2012 confirms this, with over a quarter of UAE Internet users (26%) encountering online malware at least once. Moreover, the UAE has become the regional leader in terms of the number of email malware, the share of which in Q3 2012 accounted for 47.8% of the Middle East total.
“This portrait of a contemporary Internet user, their habits and online activity, i.e. their ‘digital me’, is of great interest for us in terms of their needs and preferences,” says Alexander Erofeev, Chief Marketing Officer at Kaspersky Lab. “Unfortunately, many GCC users demonstrate low awareness of the latest cyber-threats, which increases the chances of a successful outcome for the cybercriminals. But users don’t need to tackle increasingly sophisticated threats on their own; it’s easier and safer to entrust the protection of your digital world to a dedicated security solution such as Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 which protects users as they go about their daily Internet business, including activity such as making online payments.”
The survey was conducted in 2012 by O+K Research especially for Kaspersky Lab. More than 11,000 users aged 16 and over living in Latin and North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa participated in the survey.