The majority of internet users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) do not believe they are likely to fall victim to a cyber attack, despite the growing number of these incidents.
This is according to a survey by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, which found that even though 44 per cent of individuals in the Middle East nation said they had noticed an increase in the risks they face, less than a quarter (23 per cent) believed they could be personally targeted by hackers.
Among the biggest concerns for citizens is the fear their their 'digital identity' will be compromised by someone gaining access to their Facebook, Twitter, banking or other online accounts.
More than six out of ten respondents (61 per cent) said they were worried about their online accounts being hacked into, while a similar number (60 per cent) admitted to concerns about malware that is designed to steal passwords and other confidential information.
"People are concerned about the safety of their online accounts, although in reality, few of them think they will be targeted by a cyber attack - and that's where they're wrong," said Peter Aleshkin, the head of consumer marketing for Kaspersky Lab.
He added that hackers often rely on the element of surprise and make their attacks when users least expect it. And while UAE internet users are generally aware of traditional attacking such as malware, there are several emerging techniques that are not gaining the same level of attention.
For example, Kaspersky Lab noted that malicious apps that allow hackers to tap into a user's webcam have not raised much concern among UAE residents, despite the potential for harm they can cause.
"These programs are more dangerous than they seem," the report noted. "Cybercriminals can watch users or overhear confidential information via a webcam, or use video clips to blackmail their victims, while advertising modules can be utilised to embed even more dangerous programs."