Aug 25 2020
The “new normal” has made us use internet-enabled devices, more than ever before, for activities such as remote working, financial transactions, online shopping, studies, and entertainment. Mobile gaming and online gaming, which were steadily growing in popularity over the years, have become an even more popular pastime since the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. However, we should be mindful of the fact that this increased exposure to the internet puts us at greater risk of exposure to many different kinds of online threats. Understanding the cyberthreat landscape is, therefore, extremely important. Only by knowing the possible risks can we take steps to protect ourselves and our devices against them.
According to the recent NortonLifeLock Digital Wellness Report*, 87% of the respondents in a survey believed that online gaming takes a toll on one’s health and were worried about the fact online gaming could expose their child to online threats. Many online games use chat services – an aspect that hackers and cybercriminals can exploit. It emerged that almost 81% of the respondents in the aforesaid survey were using parental control mechanisms on their devices, while 70% were aware of the fact that connecting with strangers while playing online games could lead to problems like cyberbullying.
However, the Digital Wellness Report indicated that children aren’t the only ones at risk of cyber threats or harassment. Adults, too, display potentially risky online behaviour in certain matters – online dating, for instance – that raise genuine concerns about privacy and data security. Almost 40% of the respondents in the survey were okay with sharing personal details with someone they had only just contacted through a dating app, without having met the person in real life. That is exactly the kind of behaviour that we must be wary about. One must always be cautious while sharing any kind of personal information with a stranger, whether over a dating app or over email.
The report found that female respondents (84%) were more aware than men (74%) about security threats, and that they had a security software installed on their smartphone. Furthermore, about 71% of female respondents (versus 63% of male respondents) concerned themselves with app privacy and permissions on their phones. In terms of generation, Gen Z users (95%) were found to be more proactive than millennials (94%) and Gen X users (90%) in adjusting the privacy permissions on their phone.
As our home and work environments evolve over time in a world that’s getting increasingly digitally connected, we should take greater care to protect ourselves and our loved ones from online risks. There are some simple measures we can observe.
NortonLifeLock recommends the following best practices to help safeguard your online identity:
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