Nearly two in three Indians (66 per cent) have become addicted to being online as a result of the Covid pandemic, a report released on Tuesday said.
The 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights report by consumer security company NortonLifeLock is based on an online survey of more than 1,000 Indian adults conducted by the Harris Poll.
The survey found that on average, adults in India spend 4.4 hours a day in front of screens, outside of work or educational time.
About eight in 10 (82 per cent) said that the amount of time they spent on screens, aside from educational or work purposes, has increased significantly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Smartphones by far are the most common device Indian adults surveyed feel they are spending too much time on (84 per cent).
The majority of Indian adults (74 per cent) agree that the amount of time they spend in front of a screen negatively impacts their physical health, while more than half (55 per cent) say it negatively impacts their mental health.
“It is understandable that the pandemic has increased our dependence on screens for activities that could otherwise have been done offline. It is important for every individual, however, to find a healthy balance between their on-screen and off-screen time so that their health and, more importantly, their children’s health is not adversely impacted,” NortonLifeLock’s Director, Sales and Field Marketing, India & SAARC Countries Ritesh Chopra said in a statement.
The survey also showed a lack of trust among Indian adults in smart home devices and/ or the companies that manufacture them.
Nearly half of adults decided against purchasing a smart home device due to security concerns or because of privacy concerns (40 per cent).
People also cited a lack of information about smart home devices (40 per cent) and a lack of transparency from smart home device manufacturers about how they use consumer data (35 per cent) as reasons for not purchasing a smart home device.
“The online landscape has seen an increase in the numbers and types of cyber threats. Users must take great care of how and where they use their connected devices. Convenience should not come at the cost of security,” Chopra said.
“Today, the loss of personal or confidential information can have very serious repercussions indeed. It is important for parents to be aware of this fact and to educate their children on the need for cyber safety,” he added.