EMC, National Cyber Security Alliance Unveil Online Risk Tool

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Storage and cloud computing company EMC has teamed up with a nonprofit group to offer consumers a tool for assessing their exposure to digital danger.

EMC (EMC) and the National Cyber Security Alliance said Thursday they have introduced the Online Identity Risk Calculator, which measures people's exposure to threats that can accompany such activities as banking, buying, social networking, emailing and downloading applications.

The calculator, which is available to consumers worldwide free of charge, invites participants to answer a series of ten questions it uses to calculate a risk score that ranges from zero to 100, with zero suggesting the lowest risk and 100 the highest.

Nearly 2,000 people have used the calculator, with an average risk score of 33, according to EMC and the alliance. Email, online banking, mobile apps, and social networks present the highest potential for risk among the activities people reported, EMC and the alliance said.

"In partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance, we're sharing the Online Identity Risk Calculator because we believe it not only helps individuals better understand how their online activities may make them more vulnerable to identity theft and fraud, but also provides them with prevention tips that can help reduce their exposure to potential online threats," David Martin, EMC's chief security officer, said in a news release.

"The good news is that initial data from the nearly 2,000 people who used the Online Identity Risk Calculator seems to indicate a low overall exposure to online threats based on their behaviors tied to many basic things most of us do online every day," Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, added in a news release. "But no one should be complacent since cybercriminals are constantly evolving their attacks through more sophisticated phishing emails and websites, rogue mobile apps and Trojans that can expose consumers to identity fraud, malware infections and even the takeover of online bank accounts."

According to EMC and the alliance, 60% of people who have used the tool to calculate their risk profile said they accessed their online banking account at least once a week. Roughly two-thirds of participants reported making a purchase online at least monthly, while 53% downloaded at least five mobile apps last year.

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