- The pandemic has led to a surge in internet usage across Indian households with 58% of the respondents indicating that all members in their families access the internet frequently. 15% of the respondents said that the primary users of the Internet in their household were the elderly members
- 49% of respondents indicated that their internet usage has gone up by 50% plus during the pandemic while 36% respondents indicated that their internet usage has shot up by 20%-40%
- The most common use cases of internet usage during the pandemic have been working from home, social media usage and online shopping by 64% of the respondents
- The pandemic has made more people comfortable towards using the internet and various apps vs pre-lockdown. 79% of people are more comfortable using the internet vs pre-lockdown
- Owing to heightened awareness against cyber frauds and misinformation, internet users have taken a range of precautions to protect themselves online.
- 57% of users responded that they no longer open suspicious messages, emails or any form of communication with fake or misleading links
- 45% of users responded that they now verify any news or information shared online
- Heightened financial cyber awareness - in 2020, 22% of respondents admitted to sharing bank account passwords, UPI pin, credit and debit card details with others while in 2021, 57% of users took preventive steps in securing their financial information online. In 2020, 52% of respondents publicly shared their phone numbers/personal addresses online while in 2021, 54% of respondents admitted that they no longer shared personal details online
- 27% of users admitted to using encrypted platforms for communication and accessing internet including VPNs (Virtual private networks)
- Owing to the heightened levels of cyber awareness, 81% of Internet users have either stopped or are considering not using apps/platforms which share their data owing to data privacy concerns
According to Olx's annual 'Safer Internet Day' study, 81% of Indian internet users are hesitant towards using certain apps due to privacy/data sharing concerns. The survey suggests that owing to the pandemic, internet usage across Indian households spiked by 50%.
More Indians are privy to cyber fraud too, as 61% of the 6,000 respondents are aware about it.
With an objective to rule out fake news, it also noted that 45% of users now verify any news or information shared online. Of the 6,000 responses, 73% were between the age groups of 18-37, while the remaining were about the age of 37. 53% of the respondents were from metro cities and 47% respondents were from non-metro cities across India.
Lavanya Chandan, director, Olx India said, "The pandemic has accelerated the penetration of internet-based services and has consequently had a profound impact on the level of comfort people have with the use of the internet. Safer Internet Day presents a wonderful opportunity to bring the issues impacting the internet ecosystem to the fore of public discourse. It also serves a reminder for us to take stock of our online behaviour and emphasises upon the need to close the gap on critical issues such as digital literacy and cyber safety awareness among internet users. Our study shows a remarkable shift in online behaviour among Indian internet users which has resulted from an increased sensitisation, and this has prompted the adoption of basic tools to address concerns around privacy and safety. At Olx, it has been our continuous endeavour to advocate the cause of cyber safety into the mainstream consciousness and provide netizens with the right tools to safeguard their online presence.”
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