Data risks give no re­wards, warns Kasper­sky Lab

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Users are putting their precious and sen­si­tive data in dan­ger, by the way they share both their in­for­ma­tion, and their phys­i­cal de­vices con­tain­ing this in­for­ma­tion with oth­ers. Kasper­sky Lab’s My Precious Data: Stranger Dan­ger re­port lifts the lid on data shar­ing habits and re­veals that peo­ple who share their data and de­vices, live dig­i­tal lives that are much more dif­fi­cult than those who don’t - suf­fer­ing from data loss and prob­lem­atic de­vices.

Peo­ple who share their data with oth­ers are more likely to have dig­i­tal life dif­fi­cul­ties - for ex­am­ple, al­most half of users who share their data on­line have ex­pe­ri­enced data loss on their smart­phones (47 per­cent). The chances of data loss how­ever, are com­par­a­tively slim among those who do not share their data with oth­ers - only 13 per­cent of th­ese peo­ple have lost in­for­ma­tion from their smart­phones. The risks of shar­ing are even higher for those who share their in­for­ma­tion with strangers, with 59 per­cent of smart­phone users who have shared data with strangers ad­mit­ting they have lost their data.

Peo­ple who share their precious data dig­i­tally have also re­ported a wide range of prob­lems with their de­vices. On smart­phones, the most com­mon is­sues in­clude in­tru­sive ad­verts (51 per­cent, com­pared to 25 per­cent of users who don’t share), bat­tery life is­sues (41 per­cent, com­pared to 17 per­cent of peo­ple who don’t share), apps op­er­at­ing on their de­vice with­out their con­sent (19 per­cent, com­pared to 6 per­cent of users who don’t share) and mal­ware in­fec­tions (14 per­cent, com­pared to 4 per­cent of peo­ple who don’t share). Th­ese find­ings il­lus­trate a strong con­nec­tion between shar­ing and de­vice is­sues, with those that share data be­ing more likely to lead dif­fi­cult dig­i­tal lives than those that don’t.

In ad­di­tion, the re­search shows the same cor­re­la­tion for peo­ple that put their phys­i­cal de­vices in the care of oth­ers - such as giv­ing their smart­phones to oth­ers for a pe­riod of time, leav­ing their de­vices un­locked in a pub­lic place, giv­ing out their PINs and so on. Th­ese users are also more likely to suf­fer data loss - for ex­am­ple, more than half (65 per­cent) who have shared their smart­phone with oth­ers have also ex­pe­ri­enced data loss on their smart­phones, com­pared with 34 per­cent of those who haven’t.

“Our re­search shows that when peo­ple over-share data dig­i­tally, they are more likely to face de­vice prob­lems and lose data, mak­ing their dig­i­tal lives more dif­fi­cult,” com­mented An­drei Mo­chola, Head of Con­sumer Business at Kasper­sky Lab. “This prob­lem is made worse when users share their dig­i­tal de­vices with oth­ers, or with to­tal strangers. We know that users are un­likely to stop shar­ing the precious data they love with peo­ple on­line - this is one of the priv­i­leges of the on­line world. But that’s why it is so im­por­tant for ev­ery­one to be more aware of the po­ten­tial dan­gers they are putting their data and de­vices in. We urge peo­ple to choose pro­tec­tion that adapts to suit their needs, what­ever en­vi­ron­ment they are in. This ap­proach iden­ti­fies com­plex and tar­geted threats and of­fers users ad­vice that helps to re­duce the po­ten­tial dam­age to their data and de­vices - leav­ing peo­ple to en­joy all the on­line world has to offer.”

Award win­ning pro­tec­tion is avail­able that helps to safe­guard fam­i­lies and all their precious mem­o­ries. Kasper­sky To­tal Se­cu­rity de­liv­ers pro­tec­tion for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and An­droid. Fea­tures such as Backup and En­cryp­tion pro­tect peo­ple’s data from harm. In ad­di­tion, An­ti­mal­ware Pro­tec­tion, Soft­ware Cleaner and Ap­pli­ca­tion Man­ager en­sure that de­vices con­tinue to work in the best pos­si­ble con­di­tion.

My Precious Data: Stranger Dan­ger is based on an on­line sur­vey con­ducted by re­search firm Tol­una and Kasper­sky Lab in Jan­uary 2017. The sur­vey as­sessed the at­ti­tudes of 16,250 In­ter­net users aged over 16 years old, from 17 coun­tries around the world.

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