Most of Indian internet users hesitant to handle certain apps on privacy concerns: OLX study – The Hindu BusinessLine

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Indian internet users are more concerned about their safety and privacy in 2021. They are considering stopping the use of certain apps due to privacy or data-sharing concerns, according to the ‘OLX 2021 Safer Internet Day Study.’

According to the study, 81 per cent of Indian Internet users have either stopped using or are considering not using certain apps due to privacy or data-sharing concerns.

The increased awareness has come about with increased internet usage in the country. According to the report, internet usage across Indian households has risen by 50 per cent. Seventy-nine per cent of people are more comfortable using the internet in 2021 as compared to pre-lockdown period.

For 49 per cent of respondents, their internet usage has gone up by over 50 per cent during the Covid-19 pandemic while 36 per cent of respondents indicated that their internet usage has increased by 20 per cent-40 per cent.

“The most common use cases of internet usage during the pandemic have been working from home, social media usage and online shopping by 64 per cent of the respondents,” as per the report.

Awareness on cyber frauds

The increased usage has fostered awareness about cyber frauds across 61 per cent of Indian households, as per the report. Sixty per cent of respondents said that internet companies have empowered them with the right cyber safety tools, awareness, and education to identify cyberattacks during the lockdown.

Users are also taking active steps to protect themselves from cyber fraud and misinformation.

According to the research, 45 per cent of users said they now verify any news or information shared online. Fifty-seven per cent of users responded that they no longer open suspicious messages, emails or any form of communication with fake or misleading links.

In 2021, 57 per cent of users also took preventive steps in securing their financial information online, while 54 per cent said that they no longer shared personal details online.

27 per cent of users admitted to using encrypted platforms for communication and accessing internet including VPN’s(Virtual private networks)

“The pandemic has accelerated the penetration of internet-based services and has consequently had a profound impact on the level of comfort people have with the use of the internet,” said Lavanya Chandan, Director, OLX India.

“Safer Internet Day presents a wonderful opportunity to bring the issues impacting the internet ecosystem to the fore of public discourse. It also serves a reminder for us to take stock of our online behaviour and emphasises upon the need to close the gap on critical issues such as digital literacy and cyber safety awareness among internet users. Our study shows a remarkable shift in online behaviour among Indian internet users which has resulted from an increased sensitization, and this has prompted the adoption of basic tools to address concerns around privacy and safety,” added Chandan.

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