Mobile wallets under threat, Norton Mobile Survey concludes

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The system security software maker, Norton said in a survey report that 90 percent of Indian smartphone users has granted access to their mobile data and contacts in exchange of free apps. Also, 40 percent of them granted access to use their camera.

The Norton Mobile Survey was conducted on 1005 Indian smartphone and tablet users aged 16 and above. Out of which, only 19 percent users were concerned about hacking or leaking their personal information, while, 34 percent and 21 percent were concerned about virus/ malware attacks and threats involving fraudulent access or misuse of credit card or bank account details, respectively.

“Only eight percent reject requests bearing in mind the risks involved. Further, Indian consumers have granted permission to access contacts, phone data, camera and location for a free app,”  Norton by Symantec’s Country Manager, India, Ritesh Chopra said. “Consumers in India are trading their personal information in exchange of free mobile apps, exposing themselves to privacy risks.”

On an average, an amount over Rs. 19,000, users interestingly found it safe to hold in their mWallet accounts. The Norton study noted that around 65 percent of Indian smartphone users now access the Internet more often their handheld devices rather than using a PC.

“Close to 50% Indians have over 20 apps on their smartphones or tablets, and 36% of people grant the access to mobile data because the app they downloaded ‘looked cool’, regardless of its origin,” he further added.

Norton said that there are around 81 percent Indians who concede that security risks on mobile devices are just as great as desktops or laptops, while, about 60 percent of them seem to be undermining the security of their smartphones by dismissing these risks as fairly minimal.

“Humans are their own enemies. Nearly 65% of Indians now access the internet more often on a mobile device than on a personal computer. So consumers’ usage behaviour is one of the major reasons why people in India are so vulnerable,” said Chopra.

Most of the users unknowingly put personal data on their smartphones at risk and compromise privacy.

“Mobile devices… 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 the like,” Norton official said. Attacks would mostly occur where money is involved. “Our survey said 52% of users believe their mobile wallet has come under threat. Attacks on such apps where money is involved would be a major trend in 2016.”

The study further revealed that there are more than 1.08 crore apps in more than 200 app stores that are needed to improve our productivity but one-third of them are infected by malware. These infected apps hamper the security of several mobile wallet users.

With inputs from agency

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