With more enterprises and consumers embracing digitalization, it cannot be helped that they leave digital footprints for every log-in in different websites. Global cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, through an anonymized data, found that most customers are worried about the security of popular mobile operating systems (21.2%) and Google’s privacy level (18.3%).
Kaspersky found that among the most popular requests for privacy were Google settings on Android (11.1%), security rules for Android OS (7.3%), and WhatsApp settings on Android (5.9%).
“Most everyday actions users take on the web can lead to the accumulation of a digital footprint,” said Sergey Malenkovich, head of social media at Kaspersky. “This can include IP address, comments, photos and geotags, or biometric data inferred from those photos. The visitor statistics in the Privacy Checker project show that users have begun to take an active interest in the privacy and security of their accounts and are looking to reduce their footprint where possible.”
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Kaspersky conducted the research using its Privacy Checker between December 2019 and August 2021. To obtain the data it needed, the cybersecurity company analyzed the frequency users check security settings of the platforms or services.
The research also found that 15.7% of Facebook users check their security setting on various platforms. It was followed by Instagram 9.9%. About 8.1% of Tiktok users visit their privacy and security settings.
Kaspersky noted that TikTok’s monthly active audience is four times smaller than Facebook’s (689 million vs 2.9 billion), the numbers show that the privacy offered by TikTok is also of great concern to users.
“The high share of TikTok-related requests indicates both interest in the platform itself and user concern about some of the brand’s data collection practices, which have recently been highlighted in the media,” Malenkovich said.
Among messenger services, users are most concerned with the WhatsApp security level with the share of requests about its security policy was 13.9%.
Kaspersky has also prepared a short checklist to help users protect their personal information on all platforms:
- Public cloud storage is not the best place to store your private information, such as passport scans or a list of passwords. The better option is to keep this data in an encrypted archive.
- Private browsing, like in Kaspersky Internet Security, can help you to avoid internet tracking.
- Keep your main email address and phone number private. It is a good idea to create an additional email account and purchase an additional SIM card to use for online shopping and other situations requiring you to share your data with strangers.
- Review your permissions for mobile apps and browser extensions. It’s better to avoid installing browser extensions unless you really need them. Carefully check the permissions you give them.
- Secure your phone and computer with passwords or passcodes. The safe option is to use passwords or biometric authentication to lock phones, tablets, and computers.