Increased internet consumption has led to a rise in cyber threats including cyber-bullying and identity theft, among others according to the recent NortonLifeLock Digital Wellness Report.
“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,” it said.
“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,” it said.
According to a survey conducted by NortonLifeLock, 87 per cent of the respondents believed that online gaming can take a toll on one’s health and could expose their children to online threats. Also, 70 per cent of those surveyed were aware that interacting with strangers online while gaming could lead to cyber-bullying.
“Many online games use chat services – an aspect that hackers and cybercriminals can exploit,” the report said.
Nearly 81 per cent of the respondents were using some form of parental control mechanisms for their devices to ensure security.
The report also added that adults too, are at a higher risk of cyber-bullying and online harassment.
“Adults, too, display potentially risky online behaviour in certain matters – online dating, for instance – that raise genuine concerns about privacy and data security,” it said.
However, people are also taking necessary measures to ensure data privacy and safety, As per the report, nearly 71 per cent of female respondents and 63 per cent of male respondents concerned themselves with app privacy and permissions on their phones. Users had installed some form of security software on their devices to ensure cybersecurity.
In terms of generation, 95 per cent of Gen Z users were found to be more proactive in ensuring safety and adjusting privacy permissions on their phones as compared to millennials (94 per cent) and Gen X users (90 per cent).
The report is based on a 2019 survey conducted with responses from over 1,500 city-based Indian adults.