Ignorance is a criminal’s best friend

June 2016 Information Security

Kaspersky Lab has discovered that consumers are installing apps on their devices without being aware of the potential consequences. A shocking 63% of consumers globally neglect to read the licence agreement carefully before installing a new app on their phone and one-in-five (20%) never read messages when installing apps; they simply go through the motions of clicking ‘next’ and ‘agree’, without understanding what they could be signing up to.

Kaspersky Lab’s “Are you cyber savvy?” quiz, which questioned 18 507 consumers globally about their online habits, found that an alarming number of consumers are leaving their privacy – and the data on their phones – exposed to cyber threats because they are not installing apps on their devices safely.

When users neglect to read licence agreements or messages during the app install process, they do not know what they are agreeing to. Some apps can affect user privacy, prompt the installation of other apps, or even change the OS settings of a device completely legally, because the user has ‘agreed’ to it during the install process.

The quiz also discovered that just under half (43%) of users could be at risk from the apps on their mobile device, because they are not cyber-savvy enough to limit app permissions when installing apps. 15% of respondents to the quiz do not limit what their apps can do on their phone at all and 17% give apps permissions when prompted, but then forget about it, while 11% think they can’t change those permissions. When app permissions are left un-checked, it is possible – and legal – for apps to access the personal and private data on mobile devices, from contact information, to photos and location data.

Commenting on the findings, David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab says, “Internet users are entrusting their devices with sensitive information about themselves and others, such as contacts, private messaging etc., yet they are failing to ensure that their information is entirely safe. This can turn their devices into their digital frenemies.

Because they are not taking precautions when they install apps, many consumers are granting apps permission to intrude on their private lives, watch what is stored on their devices and where they are, install additional unwanted apps and make changes to their devices, right from the moment of installation. At Kaspersky Lab, we want to help consumers become more cyber-savvy, and protect their precious data – and themselves – from these dangers.”

To protect themselves consumers should:

• Only download apps from trusted sources.

• Select the apps you wish to install on your device wisely.

• Read the licence agreement carefully during the installation process.

• Read the list of permissions an app is requesting carefully. Do not simply click ‘next’ during installation, without checking what you are agreeing to.

• Use a cybersecurity solution that will protect your device from cyber threats.

You can check your own level of cyber-savviness here: https://blog.kaspersky.com/cyber-savvy-quiz/

To read more tips on how to protect yourself online, click here: https://blog.kaspersky.com/tag/cybersavvy





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

A strong cybersecurity foundation
Milestone Systems Information Security
The data collected by cameras, connected sensors, and video management software can make a VMS an attractive target for malicious actors; therefore, being aware of the risks of an insecure video surveillance system and how to mitigate these are critical skills.

Read more...
Surveillance and cybersecurity
Cathexis Technologies Information Security
Whether your business runs a security system with a handful of cameras or it is an enterprise company with thousands of cameras monitoring sites across a multinational organisation, you must pay attention to cybersecurity.

Read more...
Cybersecurity and AI
AI & Data Analytics Information Security
Cybersecurity is one of the primary reasons that detecting the commonalities and threats of what is otherwise completely unknown is possible with tools such as SIEM and endpoint protection platforms.

Read more...
What are MFA fatigue attacks, and how can they be prevented?
Information Security
Multifactor authentication is a security measure that requires users to provide a second form of verification before they can log into a corporate network. It has long been considered essential for keeping fraudsters out. However, cybercriminals have been discovering clever ways to bypass it.

Read more...
SA's cybersecurity risks to watch
Information Security
The persistent myth is that cybercrime only targets the biggest companies and economies, but cybercriminals are not bound by geography, and rapidly digitising economies lure them in large numbers.

Read more...
Cyber insurance a key component in cyber defence strategies
Information Security
[Sponsored] Cyber insurance has become a key part of South African organisations’ risk reduction strategies, driven by the need for additional financial protection and contingency plans in the event of a cyber incident.

Read more...
Deception technology crucial to unmasking data theft
Information Security Security Services & Risk Management
The ‘silent theft’ of data is an increasingly prevalent cyber threat to businesses, driving the ongoing leakage of personal information in the public domain through undetected attacks that cannot even be policed by data privacy legislation.

Read more...
Data security and privacy in global mobility
Security Services & Risk Management Information Security
Data security and privacy in today’s interconnected world is of paramount importance. In the realm of global mobility, where individuals and organisations traverse borders for various reasons, safeguarding sensitive information becomes an even more critical imperative.

Read more...
Sophos celebrates partners and cybersecurity innovation at annual conference
News & Events Information Security
[Sponsored] Sun City hosted Sophos' annual partner event this year, which took place from 12 to 14 March. Sophos’ South African cybersecurity distributors and resellers gathered for an engaging two-day conference.

Read more...
The CIPC hack has potentially serious consequences
Editor's Choice Information Security
A cyber breach at the South African Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has put millions of companies at risk. The organisation holds a vast database of registration details, including sensitive data like ID numbers, addresses, and contact information.

Read more...