A new report released by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) has shown Oman has succeeded in reducing the number of cyber-attacks in the country. Oman's cybersecurity departments handled 417,021 hack attempts in 2020, which declined from 483,794 attempts in 2019. Government and major institutions also witnessed a fall in cyberattacks with 1,461 in 2020, down from 1,779 in 2019.
The report showed 94 per cent of Oman households use Internet services, 96 per cent utilized computers devices, while 95 per cent had access to smartphones. However, only 14 per cent of homes managed to have smart cameras or smartwatches, it said.
According to stats, WhatsApp is the most popular social media for people over 18 years of age, followed by YouTube and Facebook. The number of WhatsApp users has increased from 89 per cent in 2019 to 92 per cent last year. YouTube and Facebook users rose from 70 to 81 per cent and 49 to 56 per cent, respectively, within a year. Instagram was only accessed by 44 per cent in the Sultanate in 2020. The report also stated that only 57 per cent of the people installed and updated antivirus software correctly.
People spent time on the Internet to download games, pictures, music and movies, which accounted for 77 per cent of the total internet usage. 58 per cent of the internet time was spent on e-mails, 38 per cent on online banking services and 34 per cent each for e-government services and online storage. 31 per cent of internet usage was on E-commerce activities.
The report also cast light on why most people do not use the Internet, which is a lack of electronic literacy. 38 per cent claimed that they were not aware of the technicalities of computers, while 31 per cent of people did not feel the need to use the Internet to go online or did not know to use it at all. 23 per cent of respondents felt the Internet was expensive.
Poor internet coverage, privacy, security concerns and socio-cultural reasons were all causes of less Internet usage, the report said.
Almost 2763 Omani government services are made available online by 74 government institutions. Of these, 89 are for information, 361 for interactive services and 2313 are related to legal procedures. Only 35 per cent of 2313 are unified e-services.