• Saturday, December 09, 2023
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Mobile devices in Africa are unprotected, says Norton


Norton by Symantec, weekend released new insights into Middle East and African consumers’ mobile use and behaviours, revealing that adults rely on their mobile devices more than ever, yet few are taking some of the necessary precautions to keep their devices and content safe and secure. Consumers in the Middle East and Africa are now living various aspects of their work, social and online lives through their mobile devices.

From surfing online to downloading apps, shopping and making payments from their mobile device, Norton found that nearly nine out of ten online adults (87 percent) in the Middle East and Africa are mobile device users, of which a large majority (78 percent) are using them to access the Internet. “People are relying more and more on their mobile phones and tablets to navigate, share, socialize and shop in today’s constantly-connected world,” said Kara Rawden at Norton by Symantec.

“What many consumers maynot realise is exactly how much of their personal and private information is up for grabs should these devices be compromised, lost or stolen. Considering the sensitive nature of data that is accessible from personal mobile devices, consumers need to take some basic, yet easy, precautions to protect it from falling into the wrong hands.”

As people expand their online lives through mobile devices, many are not taking steps to secure their device and the content it contains. According to the report, nearly one in four mobile device users in the Middle East and Africa admit to not always downloading applications from trustworthy sources. Furthermore, close to three in ten (29 percent) indicated that they do not use secure payment methods when making purchases from their mobile device, leaving their sensitive information such as credit card details vulnerable

More than one-quarter (28 percent), admitted to not using a password to help protect their personal data. In the event of theft or loss, a treasure trove of personal information stored on the device can potentially be accessed including personal emails, a possiblegateway to other sensitive information such as work correspondence and documents (54 percent), passwords for other online accounts (20 percent), and bank statements (33 percent).

The lack of precaution taken by mobile users can have unfortunate consequences for some: close to two in five mobile users in the Middle East and Africa have fallen victim to mobile cybercrime.