Online security has always been a cause for concern for many internet users, especially with so many high-profile hacks being reported from all over. Sadly, cybercrime is not just restricted to mischievous teens in their Mom’s basement or even organized crime rings with vast resources. In recent times, reports from many quarters have laid bare something that was always known amongst cyber security experts, according to whom, even nation states have, from time to time, resorted to such activities for one reason or another. Whether it was the high-profile Sony hack or the recent power-grid crisis in Ukraine, cyber security continues to be an issue in an increasingly connected world that we live in, especially now that the IoT era is almost upon us.
It is in this background that Google India has come out with its latest report on cyber-security awareness levels in India – a country which already has over 200 million internet users as of 2015. Google is actually projecting that number to rise to over half a billion by 2018-19, saying that it is adding 5 million new users in the country every month. What’s reassuring is that the company says that netizens in the country are also becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect themselves from becoming victims of online crimes. That being the case, information about online searches from Google Trends shows that in 2015, searches regarding password changes and two-step verification processes have increased by 20 percent and 97 percent respectively, as people attempt to protect their online data and secure their identities.
With smartphone usage becoming increasingly ubiquitous, people are also looking to track down their lost handsets, which are often filled with a ton of personal information that most would rather not fall in the hands of strangers. According to Google Trends, searches regarding tacking down lost mobiles have increased by a whopping 591 percent in the country over the past year. Revealing these latest trends amongst internet users in India, the Director, Trust and Safety at Google India, Ms. Sunita Mohanty, said that, “It is more important now than ever before to ensure the data and profiles of these users are safe online”. According to her, “With an increase in the number of users coming online and rise in the penetration of smartphone users in India, we at Google are committed to offering users a safe Internet experience”.