Norton by Symantec, today released a study which reveals that teenagers in India are considered the weakest link for mobile security. A staggering 62 percent repondents feel that teenagers are at a greater risk of encountering threats on their mobile devices while 54 percent believe that teenagers are more likely to commit mobile device related crime. Conducted among 1,005 Indian smartphone and tablet users aged 16 years and above, the study aims to understand the potential risks and vulnerabilities posed to and caused by the teenagers in India.
The study further revealed that those who felt teenagers were more vulnerable thought that they were at risk from a broad range of problems on their mobile devices, including leakage of personal information (36 percent), a virus/malware infection (33 percent) revenge porn and cyberstalking (30 percent). On the other hand, the same age group was thought more likely to perpetrate problems such as hacking of personal information (27 percent), cyberbullying (26 percent) sending junk texts or emails (25 percent), revenge porn (24 percent), cyberstalking (22 percent) among others. Interestingly, nearly 12 percent 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.
“There is no doubt that teenagers are one of the biggest users of mobile devices in India. As “digital natives” they face various mobile security challenges – as victim and as perpetrators,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, India, Norton by Symantec “This International Friendship Day, let’s pledge to work together with our teens to help them understand the impact of their actions especially cyberstalking or catfishing, and provide them with the knowledge and the tools to stay safe online.”
As an increasingly number of consumers, including teenagers get smartphone and app savvy, there are many steps they can take to protect themselves. Norton recommends the following best practices:
Tips for Mobile Device Security:
Use Strong Passwords and Lock Screen patterns: Lock screen security is important, as it makes it more or less impossible for a thief to access your information. If a simple swipe is all it takes to unlock your tablet or smartphone, you’re leaving your information very vulnerable in the event of theft. Also, use different passwords for different apps and change them often.
Be Vigilant: Being aware of SMS phishing scams is another essential measure. It’s not just emails you have to watch out for these days—phishing scams come in the form of text messages as well. Remember to trust your instincts; if a message seems suspicious, it probably is.
Review Settings and Updates Regularly: Keeping your phone or tablet’s software updated is important, as is the case with your computer. If your mobile device isn’t regularly updated, it’s vulnerable to threats. You’ll also want to review your security settings on your device and make adjustments as needed.
Download Apps From Official App Stores: Third-party app stores may not put apps through the same rigour as official app stores such as the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
Use A Reputable Mobile Security Solution: Consider using a security software such as Norton Mobile Security, 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 behavior. 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.