Business / Gadgets

Call to protect users from online theft

By He Yini ( Updated: 2014-03-11 15:33

As much as we hail the benefits of a 3G/4G era of mobile-phone Internet in China, evidence of personal information becoming public is piling up, raising serious questions over privacy and security in the world's second-largest economy.

Statistics from the Internet Society of China show financial loss caused by leak of personal information last year reached about 150 billion yuan ($24.4 billion), as 65.5 percent of websites had security holes that made them vulnerable to hackers.

Call to protect users from online theft

Call to protect users from online theft
Time to show more online interest 

It's these huge losses and risk to privacy that turned "personal information protection" into one of the top buzzwords during this year's two sessions, with calls for laws and regulations as well as improvement in mobile Internet technology.

"Personal information leaks could happen anywhere anytime, without us knowing it," said Yang Yuanqing, chairman of world's top PC maker Lenovo Group Ltd. "It could happen when we are installing apps on our smartphones, sending massages, and so on."

Many people would choose "Yes" without even looking at the articles popping up during installation of smartphone apps. It increases the chances of information leaks, Yang said.

He said that more than 20 billion messages were sent on average every day in 2013 via social networking platforms, including Wechat and Weibo, in China.

Malwares for smartphones, which is also considered as a culprit for personal information leak, surged to over 700,000 in 2013, more than quadrupled from a year earlier, according to Yang, citing statistics from a national computer emergency response technical organization.

"Laws and regulations are required to protect our personal information on mobile devices, raise the bar of safety standard for smartphone apps, and streamline the information technology market," He said.

Smartphones, underpinned by clouding computing and big data technology, has increasingly become a top choice for the Chinese people to access Internet, overtaking tablets and personal computers.

China boasts about 500 million mobile Internet users by the end of 2013, taking up 80.9 percent of total online users, according to a report released on Feb 26 by the China Internet Network Information Center, or CNNIC.

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