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Indian online millennials 'reckless'

News, 23 November 2015

AHMEDABAD: India's internet users have acquired some poor habits when it comes to online security and millennials are the worst offenders, a new report has claimed.

"They are either naive to online security or don't understand the gravity of the issue," said David Lee, senior product manager, Norton Mobile Group, part of Symantec, the security software provider which carried out a global survey of 17,125 device users aged 18 plus across 17 countries including 1,000 users from India.

Thirty one percent of Indian millennials admitted to sharing passwords and engaging in other risky online behaviour such as not using passwords at all, using weak passwords and keeping critical information in their mobiles.

That compared to 25% of online users overall who shared passwords with family and friends, Mint reported. And among these, 36% shared banking passwords, 54% social media credentials and 60% their email password.

One reason for this lax approach among millennials is that four in ten believe they aren't "interesting enough" to be a target of online crime.

But that isn't actually the case, as the report said that more than half of them had experienced some form of online crime – e-mail or social media account breaches, identity theft, bank account or credit card information theft, cyber bullying – in the last 12 months.

"Even though millennials have been immersed in online technology most of their lives, they are more reckless in many ways with only one in four believing they have most responsibility when an online crime occurs," said Ritesh Chopra, country manager, India, Norton by Symantec.

Indians generally are not unaware of the potential for online crime – 60% worry about it – but they regularly overestimate the effectiveness of their security practices. And 61% don't know what to do when they're affected by cyber crime.

Further, some 31% of Indians (driven mostly by millennials) reported personally having their mobile device stolen in 2014 as compared to the global average of 15%.

And 54% thought it more likely their credit card would be stolen online than from their wallet – a consideration when the government is promoting the attractions of a cashless economy.

Data sourced from Mint; additional content by Warc staff