MCSI: Few Consumers Change Online Habits Despite Awareness of Multiple Risks
The Microsoft Computing Safety Index (MCSI) is a tiered scoring system developed in a 2011 study sponsored by Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group. The survey contains more than 20 steps consumers can take to help protect themselves online. The more steps they report taking, the higher their online safety score; 100 is the highest rating possible.
Microsoft encourages you to take an abbreviated version of the MCSI survey to help safeguard your digital lifestyle. Curious about what your score would be? Take the survey.
We release updates to the Index annually, in conjunction with Safer Internet Day.
The 2012 MCSI
Conducted in 20 countries/regions, the second annual MCSI included Africa and Asia. The 2012 average global score was 34— the same as the 2011 Index results. The results indicated that despite greater awareness of Internet risks and an increased focus on privacy, consumers have maintained the same online safety habits and still have room to improve their proactive, protective measures.
The MCSI tallies points for basic and advanced computer security behaviors such as:
View the Microsoft Computing Safety Index panel discussion (video).
Download the Protect as you connect infographic (PDF).
Note: For details on how to interpret Index results, see a list of the executive summaries in the Read the results section of this page, or go to our methodology page.
The Mobile MCSI
Newly added to the 2012 study, a mobile component—the Mobile MCSI—focused on understanding what actions consumers took to specifically protect themselves while using mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. The average worldwide 2012 Mobile MCSI score was 40, which indicates that while consumers are aware of ways they can protect themselves they are neglecting to take simple steps like installing updates and avoiding open Wi-Fi.
The Mobile MCSI tallies points for basic and advanced mobile device security behaviors such as:
Using a PIN to lock your mobile device
Downloading/using apps from only trusted sources
Using location-based services selectively
Read the results
Download the MCSI 2012 Results Presentation (PPT)
Download the 2012 MCSI Executive Summary Worldwide (PDF)
Select an executive summary from a specific country/region:
Online safety resources
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