Teenagers in India at bigger smartphone security risk: Study

smartphone userTeenagers in India are at a greater risk of encountering threats on their mobile devices, feel nearly 62 per cent of the respondents while 54 per cent other say young adults are more likely to commit mobile-related crime like revenge porn, a study revealed on Thursday.

The study by Norton by Symantec that consisted 1,005 Indian smartphone and tablet users aged 16 years and above further revealed that leakage of personal information (36 per cent), a virus/malware infection (33 per cent) revenge porn and cyberstalking (30 per cent) are among the top vulnerabilities that teenagers are at risk.

“On the other hand, the same age group was thought more likely to perpetrate problems such as hacking of personal information (27 per cent), cyberbullying (26 per cent) sending junk texts or emails (25 per cent), revenge porn (24 per cent), cyberstalking (22 per cent) among others,” the findings showed.

Nearly 12 per cent of the respondents thought that teenagers would take to Catphising/Sweetheart Scams — where the user assumes a different identity to trick people into an online romantic relationship.

“As ‘digital natives’ teenagers face various mobile security challenges — as victim and as perpetrators,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, India, Norton by Symantec.

Chopra acknowledged that these vulnerabilities are due to teenagers’ exposure to non-evaluated apps on different app stores.

When asked if it is fair to blame the teenagers for such risks, he said since downloading apps is in their hands, they must be made aware of the risks involved.

“They are naive. A 13-year-old does not know the difference between a good app and a bad app, the difference between sharing or not sharing credit card information. They want to buy an app just because someone like a friend or relative told them,” Chopra told IANS.

He asked the smartphone users to use a security software such as Norton Mobile Security as it helps to use discretion when installing apps.

“Norton Mobile Insight, a proprietary intelligence tool, crawls over 200 app stores globally to determine and provide dynamic analysis of app behaviour. It protects against Android apps that leak personal information/content from devices, change settings, place ads in the notification bar and require high battery or data usage,” Chopra said.

According to him, parents should check the smartphone usage habits of their kids.

Other tips are using strong passwords and lock screen patterns, reviewing settings and updates on a regular basis and downloading apps from official app stores.


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