The advances in technology made to smartphones make them the most convenient devices we own – smartphones can be used to do everything you need but also have access to very sensitive personal information while doing so.
Research conducted by internet security company, Kapersky, found that 71% of South Africans are uncomfortable with sharing their location with any website or application. This figure has risen significantly since 2016, when it sat at just 53%.
Approximately 65% are concerned that prying eyes can see everything they do on their smartphones, or watch them while they do, while another 59% are fearful that someone may track them using their smartphone’s geolocation information.
Kaspersky a multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, acknowledges that these fears are well-founded, as its experts found that apps not only access a lot of the user’s data – such as details on where the user is, as well as information about their contacts – but also continue running in the background without the user’s knowledge.
Approximately 83% of Android applications have access to their users’ sensitive data, while 96% of Android apps launch without consent.
Kaspersky said that South Africans have a tendency to simply glance over the security details of an app that could put their mind at ease after 40% of South Africans admitted they do not check the permissions of their pre-installed mobile apps on they iOS or Android devices. Approximately 12% do not check their permissions when downloading or installing new apps onto their smartphones.
Speaking to BusinessTech, Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab, said that apps are now a vital part of our day-to-day lives. “We use them for everything – from editing photos to updating our social media accounts, or from playing games to booking a table at a restaurant,” he said. “But this research shows that despite our love for apps, we don’t necessarily trust them. While people are certainly becoming more switched on about their apps tracking their online activity, they aren’t necessarily putting measures in place to protect themselves from any potential problems.”