Research reveals a contradiction in the way people treat their data – they are aware of the threat from cybercriminals, but their actions show they’re failing to protect their data properly.
People love their digital devices. Yet, they put them at risk with dangerous behaviour that compromises security. New research by Kaspersky Lab reveals a contradiction in the way people treat their data – although they are aware of the threat from cybercriminals, their actions show they’re failing to protect their data properly, with around half not even using basic security measures such as passwords or PINs.
The study found that globally, an overwhelming majority of people recognise there are security threats to their information, with three quarters (73%) agreeing that cybercriminals and hackers pose a high risk to their data, and two-thirds saying malware (65%) is a high-risk threat. However, there exists a discrepancy between the concerns people have about the safety of their data, and the measures they take (or rather don’t take) to protect the data they love.
Worryingly, only around half protect their devices with a password, with 53% using a password for their smartphones, 42% for their tablets and 48% for their computers. Worse still, one-in-ten people don’t do anything to protect their data at all (19% on tablets, 10% on computers and 11% on smartphones). And although the threat of cybercriminals and malware is considered by many to be a high risk to their data, only about a third have a general security solution on their devices.
Moreover, there is a disconnect between user perception – and the reality – of reckless behaviour, and its impact upon data risk. Less than half (47%) of people admit that their own inattentiveness can put their data safety at high risk, yet when asked how they’ve lost data in the past, in one-in-five (19%) cases, users admitted they have actually accidentally deleted it themselves. This is second only to people losing data due to their device being damaged (23%).
When it comes to the data people love, photos and videos are seen by many as the most valuable and irreplaceable forms of data stored on digital devices. But these are most likely to be lost from smartphones, with 44% of people saying this has happened to them in the past. 37% of computer users and 30% of tablet users have experienced the same.
Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab commented: “Precious data that we save on the digital devices we use every day is not getting the protection it deserves. With so much trust placed in devices to safeguard our memories and information, it is important that the security measures that individuals rely on are able to adapt to the scenario and keep them safe – no matter what the device or where they use it. Reliance on multiple devices to store what matters most, calls for a more robust and reliable approach. Only then can all points of vulnerability be covered and any gaps in user knowledge or unintentional data mishaps be taken care of.”
To help safeguard valuable data on their devices, users can take a number of simple precautions. By backing up data to the cloud, it can be easily retrieved from anywhere at any time, should it disappear from the device. Encrypting sensitive information and password protecting devices and apps will also make data access a lot harder, should a device fall into the wrong hands. Password managers can help create and store secure and unique passwords.
Users should also activate VPN connections to protect their data while in public Wi-Fi networks. For added peace of mind, sensitive data can also be wiped remotely using remote administration tools, if the device is lost or stolen. Kaspersky Total Security can help users put these measures – and many more – in place for total protection and true data integrity.
For further information on the research, please see the report: “Risking data heartache: it hurts to lose the data you love”.
Now download a bank account
Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.
This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.
“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.
“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”
The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:
- Download the Absa App
- Choose the account you would like to open
- Tell us who you are
- To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
- Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
- Tell us where you live
- Let us know what you do for a living and your income
- Click Apply.
How we use phones to avoid human contact
A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.
Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances.
Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?
The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.
In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.
Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.
Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”
To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:
· I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?
With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.
· Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?
Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.
· I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?
Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.