63% of consumers globally do not read the license agreement carefully before installing a new app on their smartphone. Kaspersky Lab’s “Are you cyber savvy?” Quiz, has found out. The quiz further says 20% of these consumers never even read massages when installing these apps, they simply go through the motions of clicking ‘next’ and ‘agree’, without understanding what they could be signing up to.
What this means is that consumers are just installing apps on the devices without being aware of the potential consequences.
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 cyberthreats because they are not installing apps on their devices safely.
When users neglect to read license agreements or messages during the app install process, they do not know what they are agreeing to. Most of the time, they just don’t care, what they do not know is that some of these 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 unchecked, 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.
“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.” David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab said while commenting on the issue.
To protect themselves consumers should only download apps from trusted sources. Consumers also need to select the apps they wish to install on their devices wisely.
It is always also very important to read the license 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. It is also recommended to use a cybersecurity solution that will protect your device from cyber threats