Consumers are putting their data at risk because they do not properly read what they are agreeing to when installing apps, according to a report. A survey by Kaspersky Lab revealed that 63 per cent of users neglect to read the licence agreement carefully before installing new apps on their smartphones.

Meanwhile, 20 per cent say they never read messages when installing apps – they just press “next” and “agree” without fully understanding what they are signing up to.

Kaspersky’s security experts say that these actions could give malicious apps permission to see private files, install other apps or even change their devices’ operating system settings.

The report also showed that 43 per cent of consumers could be putting their security at risk because they are not “cyber savvy” enough to limit permissions when installing apps.

15 per cent of those questioned said they do not limit what apps can do on their phones and 17 per cent give apps the permissions they want and then forget about it. Meanwhile, 11 per cent even think they cannot change those permissions.

“Internet users are entrusting their devices with sensitive information about themselves and others, such as contacts, private messaging etc., yet they are failing to ensure that their information is entirely safe,” said Kaspersky Lab principal security researcher David Emm.

“This can turn their devices into their ‘digital frenemies’. Because they are not taking precautions when they install apps, many consumers are granting apps permission to intrude on their private lives, watch what is stored on their devices and where they are, install additional unwanted apps and make changes to their devices, right from the moment of installation.”

Recent research found that up to 79 per cent of businessmen and 67 per cent of businesswomen use potentially risky apps every day. Meanwhile, although 88 per cent of consumers store sensitive information on their devices, many do not even take basic security measures to protect it.

And earlier this month, researchers revealed the huge amounts of personal data that users leave on their smartphones when they sell them on.

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