As technology evolves, so does the way we interact with others around us. Our mobile phones are a means of fulfilling our on-the-go, internet dependant lifestyles. Today, Norton released a survey that sheds light on Indians’ mobile phone usage habits, the importance of their personal information, and their level of understanding when it comes to mobile security. The sample size comprised 48% female and 52% male of which 24% were 18 to 24 years old, 28% were 25 to 34 years old, 23% were 35 to 44 years old, 15% were 45 to 54 years old, and 10% were 55 to 64 years old.
Indians are no longer using their mobile phones just to stay connected, but also to fulfill necessary daily tasks and engage in leisurely activities that enhance their lifestyle. The survey uncovered that a staggering 72% of the online population in India possesses at least one mobile phone, which is on par with the number of people who own a computer (92%). While 90% of respondents access the internet via their computers, almost half of the population (48%) use their phones to access the internet, highlighting the evident need for Indians to stay connected.
The top online mobile phone activities include social networking (60%), reading the news (44%) and online messaging (42%). These activities are closely followed by mobile banking and payments (34%), location-based tasks, including navigation (25%); and online shopping (24%).
While 60% Indians acknowledge mobile threats are real, almost 38% of the mobile users in India do not use passwords to protect their phones, a very simple action that can help to protect personal information in the event of loss or theft of the device. Additionally, 17% are not aware if they can remotely track their phone using GPS navigation software. These findings somewhat reflect the lack of mobile security knowledge among Indian mobile users.
Some 43% of Indians have had their mobile phone lost or stolen, with the majority (59%) losing it. For the victims, over three quarters (77%) mentioned losing their contact information was the worst part of the experience, and 50% felt their privacy had been invaded. To resolve the situation, three in four Indians had paid an average of Rs 14,350.
In fact, 70% Indians would have paid a “ransom” averaging Rs 14,506 in order to resolve their lost or stolen phone issue, and one in two would forgo a date with their favourite celebrity rather than lose their mobile phone! This further re-inforces the high dependency Indians have on their phones and the value they place on their personal information. It is promising to know that 73 per cent of connected Indians believe that security software would have helped in their mobile data recovery.
“India is eventually being a very tech savvy nation that is hugely mobile and connected. Consumers have a good understanding of online threats that can affect them on their computers, but mobile security threats are something they need to start being aware of,” said David Freer, Vice President of Norton for Asia Pacific & Japan.
“With greater connectivity to the internet through mobile devices, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting this platform. With so much valuable and personal information residing on our mobile devices, mobile users need to have the right security measures in place – both a reliable mobile security solution and personal diligence to back up important information.”