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Society

6 in 10 Greeks Favored Smartphones over Laptops during Lockdown

ATHENS — Greeks faced higher risks of exposure to cybercriminals and malware during the recent coronavirus-related lockdown, antivirus software giant Kaspersky said on Tuesday in a global survey.

In data related to Greece in particular, Kaspersky said that over 6 in 10 Greeks (63.3 pct) used their smartphone to go online and just over 1 in 10 (15.1 pct) used their laptop computer.

While the vast majority of the Greek people said they favor privacy, anonymity and staying safe from cyber threats when surfing the internet, in fact only half of them (49.1 pct) have installed antivirus applications on their devices and only 16.3 pct have installed Virtual Proxy Network (VPN) on the devices they use to access the internet.

According to the survey, more than half (55.2%) fell prey to fake news, 1 in 3 were approached by people concealing their true identities and intentions, 26.9 pct accepted requests for personal and banking information, while cases of sexual harassment (15.1 pct), electronic fraud (12.4 pct) and cyberbullying (7.3 pct) were also recorded.

The survey also revealed that more than half of Greeks (53.6 pct) believe that using dating apps and sites is safe from cybercriminals. Kaspersky says that looking for a romantic partner online is likely to attract scammers, as several of these apps and services have embedded vulnerabilities which hackers exploit to fish for personal information.

According to Kaspersky's global research on the types of threats lurking behind dating sites, it revealed that cybercriminals can find out who is hiding behind a pseudonym based on other data provided by the users. For example, Tinder (the most popular hook-up app) allows anyone to see a user's designated workplace or study. Using this information, it is possible to find someone's related social media accounts and real usernames.

In addition, most popular apps show the geographical distance between two interested parties; entering such data makes it easy to determine anyone's precise location, the software company pointed out.

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