A recent Kaspersky research unveiled perceptions of people in the UAE have about Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The results highlighted that 72% of respondents in the UAE think the popularity, importance and usage of NFTs will grow in different sectors of business. However, surprisingly 42% of respondents believe NFTs to be just a technology hype and won’t exist for long.
NFTs are digital assets created in the form of music, art, texts, gaming content, avatars, videos, luxury items etc. They can be bought and sold online using cryptocurrency. NFTs have gained immense popularity because each one is unique, therefore irreplaceable. It allows people to own the original product because of its unique identifying code and built-in authentication which serves as proof of ownership. Echoing a positive sentiment towards owning distinctive and original digital collectibles, 77% of respondents in the UAE think NFTs can offer a new progressive way of trading digital assets. On the same note, 72% believe that it can ensure uniqueness of digital assets and contribute to intellectual property ownership.
The use of blockchain is fundamental for the functionality of NFTs. Code is written on digital assets and recorded using a blockchain network to showcase a list of historical ownership. However, integration of layers of technology to produce NFTs has added to complexities and concerns around understanding what it is and how it can be used. This is clearly indicated in Kaspersky's research which states that although 82% of respondents in the UAE have heard of NFTs, 21% of those know nothing about them and lack the knowledge of its application.
The lack of awareness increases the danger of facing financially-motivated cyber risks in this space. More than half (67%) of the people in the UAE who have heard of NFTs consider it to be an investment that involves high risk but represent an expectation of significant returns in the future. On the other hand, 35% share the opinion that NFTs as a technology instrument is used to scam people online.
“There is no denying that every technology has its set of vulnerabilities. NFTs are no exception and people may be exposed to cyber risk in this space. We want to ensure people invest in NFTs with caution and are careful when it comes to any news or speculations on this topic. The first step to making any investment is to get as much information as possible from credible sources, analyze all the risks involved, and remember that trending technology advancement have always held a particular appeal for cybercriminals”, comments Emad Haffar, Head of Technical Experts, Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Kaspersky.
To avoid falling victim to an NFT scam, Kaspersky recommends:
- Exercise basic cybersecurity practices, such as use of strong passwords and two-factor authentication
- Install a trusted security solution like Kaspersky Premium.
- It is safer to store our NFTs in a secure wallet.
- Before investing significant sums of money in NFTs, initially carry out a small transaction to make sure everything is working as it should.
- Ignore spam, such as DMs or odd NFTs that strangers send to your wallet, which can have malicious contracts attached.
- Do a thorough research on how to keep your information and NFTs safe.
Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 240,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.
 The survey was conducted by Opinium on behalf of Kaspersky in 2022 in Eurasian countries among more than 2,000 people.