The coronavirus pandemic has not only made ‘digital’ the centrepiece of everyday life but also resulted in many people becoming “addicted to being online”, according to a report.
Cyber security firm NortonLifeLock has released a new global study examining consumers’ at-home online behaviour. The findings from the India segment of the research show that 2 in 3 Indians surveyed (66 per cent) said they have become addicted to being online as a result of the pandemic.
In the study conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 1,000 Indian adults, 8 in 10 (82 per cent) said the amount of time they spent on screens — aside from educational or work purposes — has increased significantly during the pandemic.
On an average, adults in India surveyed spent 4.4 hours a day in front of screens, outside of work or educational time. Smart phone, by far, was the most common device that the Indian respondents felt they were spending too much time on (84 per cent).
Majority of the Indian respondents (74 per cent) agreed that the amount of time they spend in front of a screen negatively impacts their physical health while more than half (55 per cent) said it negatively impacts their mental health. About 76 per cent said they are trying to limit their screen time by engaging in activities such as spending time with friends.
“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,” Ritesh Chopra, Director Sales and Field Marketing, India and SAARC Countries at NortonLifeLock, said.
Meanwhile, the online landscape has seen an increase in the numbers and types of cyber threats, he added.
“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.
The loss of personal or confidential information can have very serious repercussions and it is important for parents to be aware of this fact and to educate their children on the need for cyber safety, he added.
Conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll, the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report surveyed more than 8,000 adults across eight countries, including 1,004 Indian adults, to assess consumers’ at-home online behaviour.