Most consumers install apps carelessly

Enterprise Innovation editors
Enterprise Innovation

Kaspersky Lab has has published research indicating that consumers are installing apps on their devices, without being aware of the potential consequences.

Kaspersky Lab’s “Are you cyber savvy?” Quiz, which questioned 18,507 consumers 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.

A “shocking” 63% of consumers neglect to read the license agreement carefully before installing a new app on their phone and one-in-five (20%) do not read messages when installing apps. They simply go through the motions of clicking “next” and “agree,” without understanding what they could be signing up to.

When users neglect to read license agreements or messages during the app installation process, they do not know what they are agreeing to. Some 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 installation 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.

Further, 15% of respondents 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 cannot 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.

To protect themselves, consumers should only download apps from trusted sources; select the apps you wish to install on your device wisely; 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; and use a cybersecurity solution that will protect your device from cyberthreats.

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