July 12, 2018

Concerns about mobile application permissions on the rise, finds Kaspersky Lab

Consumers still not taking precautions to reduce privacy risks created by smartphone applications

Woburn, MA – July 12, 2018 – According to research from Kaspersky Lab, consumers are growing concerned about their privacy when using mobile applications, fearing that apps can track their location, watch their activities or share their data. However, the research also found that despite these worries, many consumers are not taking simple precautions to prevent smartphone apps from compromising their security. 

Today, consumers rely on mobile applications for everything from editing photos to updating social media to booking a table at a restaurant. However, many apps request a wide range of permissions from users upon install in order to activate advanced features, such as location-based services, voice commands, integration with social networks and more. 

In light of this trend, Kaspersky Lab found that 61 percent of people are uncomfortable with sharing their location information with websites and applications – up from 39 percent in 2016. Furthermore, over half of people (56%) are very concerned that someone could see everything they do or watch on their device through an app. A similar percentage (50%) fear that someone could physically track them down using geolocation information from their device.

In some instances, these concerns are well-founded. Oftentimes, applications can not only access a huge amount of data, such as details about a user’s location or information about their contacts, but also work in the background without the user’s knowledge. According to Kaspersky Lab research, 83 percent of Android apps have access to their owners’ sensitive data, and 96 percent of Android apps can launch without consent.

While some simple actions could reduce the privacy risks associated with mobile apps, many consumers are not taking basic security precautions when installing these programs. The research found that about half of people (47%) admit they do not check the permissions of their preinstalled mobile apps on their Android and iOS devices. Furthermore, 21 percent do not check permissions when downloading or installing new apps on their devices. Even as mobile users are increasingly concerned about security, many remain unprotected from a potential data leak. 

“Apps have become an important part of our day-to-day lives,” said Dmitry Aleshin, vice president for product marketing, Kaspersky Lab. “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.”

Kaspersky Lab products can help to protect users from unwanted mobile app activity. For example, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android protects users’ mobile devices from potentially harmful apps that can access personal data for malicious purposes. In addition, Kaspersky Battery Life analyzes all applications on the user’s device and identifies those that are working in the background and consuming device energy, allowing users to stop these “battery gluttons” with one touch.

For more information, read Kaspersky Lab’s consumer security research report, “Not logging on, but living on.” 

About Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company operating in the market for over 20 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.

Media Contact
Meghan Rimol
781.503.2671
meghan.rimol@kaspersky.com