Norton by Symantec has released the India findings from the Norton Mobile Survey that sheds light on the security gaps and the privacy risks smartphone and mobile applications (apps) present. It highlights that consumers in India are trading their personal information in exchange for free mobile apps, exposing themselves to privacy risks.
The Norton study reveals that two out of three Indians (65 percent) now access the internet more often on a mobile device than on a PC. In fact, the smartphone is often the first and only device used for accessing the internet. Highlighting the increased dependency and usage, respondents reported that they check their device an average of 41 times a day. While making calls continue to be the primary use of a smartphone, applications for internet browsing, communication and social media are just as important.
Mobile security risks are growing rapidly. Globally, out of the 10.8 million apps analysed by Symantec’s Norton Mobile Insights in 2015, almost 3.3 million were classified as malware, a 230 percent increase from 2014. The Norton Mobile Survey shows that the most concerning security issues for Indian mobile users were virus/malware attacks (34 percent), followed by threats involving fraudulent access or misuse of credit card or bank account details (21 percent) and hacking or leaking of personal information (19 percent). While four out of five (81 percent) consumers concede that security risks like malware, hacking and misuse of data, cyber stalking etc. on mobile devices were just as great, if not greater than those faced while using desktops/laptops, ironically a majority (nearly 60 percent) of them seem to be undermining the security of their devices by dismissing these risks as fairly minimal.
“In today’s connected world, mobile devices are more than mini computers in our pockets – they are digital warehouses storing our most personal moments and information, such as photos and videos, conversations with friends and family, health and fitness information, financial data and more,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, India, Norton by Symantec. “Yet, most consumers unknowingly put personal information which resides on their mobile phones at risk and compromise their privacy.”