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Young adults more prone to mobile hacking, says report

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Young adults are most likely prey for mobile hackers than the elder ones, thanks to their habit of losing phones every now and then, says a research report.

According to a research done jointly by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, in the last one year, more than one-in-four young Internet users have lost their devices, which is about 17 per cent, or had their devices stolen, 13 per cent, with a third losing access to their online accounts, or suffering from a loss of data privacy as a result.

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While one-in-seven users (14 per cent) overall has experienced the loss or theft of a device, the figure rose to 26 per cent among users below the age of 24. Of the affected, aged between 16 and 24, 83 per cent say they suffered negative consequences afterwards, which is slightly higher than the overall average of 77 per cent.

The research findings suggest that a third that is 32 per cent of 16-24 year olds have had their online accounts hacked as a result (compared to 27 per cent on average). Also, one-in-four has suffered the permanent loss of precious personal images and videos figured around 25 per cent, along with the leaking of personal and sensitive information, which is 24 per cent.

A fifth of users overall were disciplined at work after having their device lost or stolen, because the device in question contained business data (22 per cent), the research said. In addition, a fifth noticed that financial details stored on the device had been misused (21 per cent).

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When affected by loss or theft, to protect themselves, only four-in-ten blocked the device through their mobile operator or reported the incident to the police, and only 29 per cent remotely wiped the device or tried to track it down using ‘find my device’ software (15 per cent).

Commenting on the findings, Kaspersky Lab Product Manager Evgeny Guryanov said: “Mobile devices have become central to our lives. They are like friends that we carry everywhere with us. Most of us store sensitive and personal information on them, whether that is pictures of our family, online banking details, personal email messages or passwords to access our daily lives.”

“Yet, it is easy for our devices, when lost or stolen to become digital frenemies. Device loss or theft is not just an inconvenience but a breach of your very identity and privacy. It is therefore imperative that it is, at the very least, password protected, that all sensitive data is encrypted, and that mobile security apps are up to date. Using an anti-theft feature as part of a wider security solution to block third-parties, help locate the device and clean it of personal data if necessary, can go a long way to protecting users, even after loss or theft,” Evgeny Guryanov adds.

Kaspersky Internet Security for Android helps mitigate the risks for users of Android mobile devices. Its anti-theft protection, combined with a powerful combination of anti-malware, privacy and web protection, enhances the security of user data; offering privacy even in the event of device theft or loss.

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